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The 



Old Radio Times !Wt 



The Official Publication of the Old-Time Radio Researchers 
December 2008 www.otrr.org Over 2,100 subscribers! Number 37 



Radio Career of 
Rod Serling 1 

Sweet Dreams 14 

First 3D Movie 17 

Backstage Visit 
Pt. 2 18 

Flash Gordon 26 

Escape 27 

Book Review 28 

Police 
Headquarters 29 

History of WMAQ 
Pt. 1 30 

You Can't Do 
Business with 
Hitler 32 

Book Review 33 

Bing -The Final 
Radio Years 34 

Wistful Vistas 35 

Acquisitions and 
Upgrades 41 




The Radio Career of Rod 
Serling 

Martin Grams, Jr. 

Literally, there were thousands of radio 
programs broadcast throughout the 
twenties to the fifties that have never been 
documented in reference guides. 
Hundreds of radio stations across the 
country featured regional programming 
that rarely expanded beyond state lines, 
and faded from memory as fast as they 
came. While some programs like The 
Whistler started out as a West Coast 
program before making the switch to a 
coast-to-coast basis, others such as 
Primer for Parents and Psychologically 
Speaking never went beyond the local 
region the program originated from. 
WENR in Chicago had Jim and Marion 
Jordan for The Farmer Rusk Hour and 
Wyllis Cooper for Lights Out! WMCA in 
New York had John J. Anthony and The 
Goodwill Hour. And WLW in Ohio had 
Rod Serling. 

This article will center on Rod Serling's 
radio career and the many obscure 
programs he created and scripted for the 
medium. His switch to television and more 
importantly, how radio was a major 
influence on the cult television series, The 
Twilight Zone, will be emphasized. Like 
much of American history, little has been 
done to preserve our heritage. As a result, 
dates in general (1952 rather than Nov. 
21 , 1952) are listed because the specifics 
remain elusive. Serling saved much of his 
radio work in the form of scripts but to 
date, only one recording is known to exist 



-- offering us a brief glimpse of the drama 
that came from a future Emmy-Award 
winning playwright. Scripts were donated 
among other personal items such as 
letters and contracts to a variety of 
depositories across the country. The 
WMCA archive in New York, UCLA in Los 
Angeles and the Wisconsin Historical 
Archives. It is from these collections and 
the author's personal items purchased off 
eBay over the past decade that form the 
majority of the information contained 
herein. 

Dr. Christian Meets Rod Serling 

While many maintain that The Twilight 
Zone influenced a great number of 
authors, television producers, scriptwriters 
and fans in general, the television 
program was influenced by the standards 
of the broadcast networks. Rod Serling 
worked first in radio and then moved on to 
television in Cincinnati (teaching himself, 
through actual writing, whatever he 
learned of playwriting). Wanting to make a 
profession of writing, he was at the radio's 
speaker, often favoring good dramas and 
programs of serious horror and science 
fiction. Shows such as Suspense and The 
Mysterious Traveler may well have been 
influences for the types of stories of which 
he grew fond. One of Serling's earliest 
jobs was as an unsalaried volunteer writer 
and actor with WNYC, a New York City 
radio station. Later he worked for stations 
in Marion and Springfield, Ohio, as well as 
his native Binghamton, N.Y., and 
Cincinnati. 

"In 1946, I started writing for radio at a 
New York City station and thereafter did 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



1 



radio writing at other small stations," he recalled. "It 
was experience, but incidental experience. I learned 
'time,' writing for a medium that is measured in 
seconds. Radio and its offspring, television, are 
unique in the stringency of the time factor. Radio and 
TV stations gave me a look-see at the factory that 
would produce my product. I got to understand the 
basic workings of cameras, lights and microphones. I 
got a sense of the space that could be utilized and 
the number of people who might be accommodated 
in that space. This was all to the good." 

The radio programs Serling wrote for, however, 
were not broadcast nationally on a coast-to-coast 
hookup. They were not sponsored. In fact, almost all 
of them were sustained, that is, the production costs 
were borne by the network rather than a sponsor. 
Cheap to produce, these programs required no 
major film stars to pay, and there was no shortage of 
radio actors willing to work for union scale. For him, 
this was experience needed for a writer with no 
credits to his name, to get his foot in the door for 
programs that paid much more - courtesy of well- 
heeled sponsors willing to pick up the tab. 

The Chesebrough Manufacturing Company, for 
example, sponsored a long-running radio program 
titled Dr. Christian. The program featured top-quality 
dramas of a country doctor who applied the Golden 
Rule approach to life when facing obstacles that 
required his inner strength for support. In the 
beginning, the Dr. Christian radio program came 
from various scriptwriters, among them Ruth Adams 
Knight. In 1942, the producers tried a new approach: 
a contest in which listeners could submit scripts and 
be eligible for large cash prizes. This may have been 
the most significant factor in the program's long 17- 
year history. Suddenly, everyone in the country was 
a scriptwriter. Weekly awards ranged from $150 to 
$500, good money in 1942, and the grand prize won 
the author $2,000. It soon became The Vaseline 
Program, "the only show in radio where the audience 
writes the script." 

Newsweek reported that 7,697 scripts were 
received in 1947; sometimes that number went as 
high as 10,000. Many were called, however, but few 
were chosen. The scripts that made it to the air 
continued the appeal of traditional values, showing 
Dr. Christian as the symbol of good will, as a 
philanthropist and an unabashed Cupid. The subject 
matter would include anything - even fantasy. One 
show was about a mermaid; on another, a human- 



like jalopy named Betsy fell in love with a black 
Packard owned by a woman chief of police. Only 
when murder was the theme of a script did listeners 
complain; they liked the show when it was mellow. 
The 1947 prize play concerned Dr. Christian's effort 
to convince an unborn child that Earth was not so 
bad after all. 

At Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, Rod 
Serling majored in language and literature and 
began writing scripts for radio. He became manager 
of the Antioch Broadcasting System's radio 
workshop where he wrote, directed and acted in 
weekly full-scale radio productions broadcast over 
WJEM, Springfield. With confidence on his shoulder, 
during the 1948-49 school year, the entire output of 
the workshop was written by Serling. With the 
exception of one adaptation, all of the radio scripts 
were entirely original. Later he would look back and 
call this work some "pretty bad stuff." 

For the broadcast of May 18, 1949, the eighth 
annual scriptwriting contest of Dr. Christian ended 
with a special broadcast revealing the year's 
winners. Among the guests on that particular 
program was Rod Serling, who at the time was 
attending Antioch College. The producers of the 
radio show even paid him $76.56 to reimburse his 
expenses in getting to CBS in New York City to 
appear on the Dr. Christian program. His 
submission, titled "To Live a Dream," had won 
approval of the judges and been accepted by 
producer Dorothy McCann. Serling's script helped 
him place in the radio contest that netted him a $500 
award. 

Serling brought along his wife, Carol, to attend 
the radio broadcast. Among the cast on stage were 
star Jean Hersholt, Helen Claire as nurse Judy Price, 
and prizewinners Russell F. Johnson, Maree Dow 
Gagne, Mrs. Aida Cromwell, Miss Terry McCoog, 
Earl Hamner, Jr. and Mrs. Halle Truitt Yenni. The 
program, still sponsored by Chesebrough, was the 
546th broadcast of the series. Russell F. Johnson of 
Thomaston, Connecticut won the $2,000 first prize 
for his script titled, "Stolen Glory." Mrs. Lillian Kerr of 
Tillamook, Oregon, won $500 for her script titled, 
"Angel with a Black Eye." Earl Hamner, Jr. of 
Cincinnati, Ohio (the same Hamner who would later 
write scripts for The Twilight Zone), won $500 for his 
script titled "All Things Come Home." This was not 
Hamner's first time winning the contest. He had been 
on the show previous for his award-winning scripts, 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



"Now That Spring is There" and "Who Would Not 
Sing for David?" 

One by one, the prizewinners were announced 
and interviewed on stage. Biographical background, 
professional endeavors and their writing ambitions 
were discussed. Halfway through the broadcast, Rod 
Serling came to the microphone. 

HERSHOLT: Hello, Rod . . . and congratulations. I 
read your winning script, "To Live a Dream, " and I 
thought it was a fine job of writing. 

SERLING: Thank you, Mr. Hersholt. You've no idea 
how thrilled I am to know that you and the judges 
selected my script as one of the winners. 

HERSHOLT: Now tell us a little about yourself, Rod. 

SERLING: Well . . . I first saw the light of day in 
Syracuse, New York, graduated from Binghamton 
High School, at Binghamton, New York . . . And am 
now in my third year of college at Antioch College, 
Yellow Springs, Ohio. 

HERSHOLT: You covered an awful lot of years in an 
awfully few words. What happened during all that 
time? 

SERLING: Well . . . before the war I did some staff 
work at a Binghamton radio station . . . tried to write . 
. . but never had anything published. 

HERSHOLT: And during the war? 

SERLING: / was in the same place as Russell 
Johnson . . . the Pacific . . . with the Army. 

HERSHOLT: What did you do in the Army? 

SERLING: / was a paratrooper. 

HERSHOLT: Where did you get the idea for this fine 
story you wrote? 

SERLING: Well . . . I've always been fond of boxing . 
. . tried my hand in the Golden Gloves. And well . . . 
since you've read my story, you know where it all ties 
in. 

HERSHOLT: Indeed I do. And do you intend to 
follow writing as a profession? 

SERLING: I'd like to, Mr. Hersholt. In fact, the 
ambition of my wife and I . . . 



HERSHOLT: Oh . . . another married man! 

SERLING: How did Russell Johnson say it? Yes, sir! 

HERSHOLT: And is your wife sitting out front, too? 

SERLING: Yes, sir. . . right there. 

HERSHOLT: Well, let's have her stand up and take a 
bow, too . . . Mrs. Rod Serling . . . 

(Applause) 

HERSHOLT: Well, well, you ex-G.l.s certainly 
specialize in beautiful brides. And now, back to that 
ambition of yours. 

SERLING: Well, we want to live in a large house, in 
the suburb of a large city, raise a family, a lot of dogs 
. . . and write! 

HERSHOLT: And I certainly hope you realize such a 
fine American ambition, Mr. Serling. Maybe this 
check for five hundred dollars will go toward part of 
the down payment on that dream! Congratulations . . 
. and good luck to you! 

SERLING: Thankyou, Mr. Hersholt. 

More Radio Programs 

Serling's success earned him a credit that would 
gain the attention of other radio producers, when he 
included a cover letter with a submission. 
Broadcasting standards during the 1940s were much 
different from the standards enforced by the late 
1 950s. The policy of reviewing and accepting 
unsolicited radio scripts and plot proposals varied 
from one producer to the next. While many programs 
had a staff of writers, other programs occasionally 
purchased submissions from the open market. 
Suspense, a radio anthology specializing in thrilling 
crime dramas, for example, bought scripts from a 
deaf mute in Brooklyn, a night watchman from 
Chicago, a cowhand in Wyoming, and one script 
from a former inmate of San Quentin. 

By the 1 950s, however, a few who submitted plot 
proposals and scripts were seeking vengeance for 
their rejected submissions. They filed lawsuits 
against the producers and the networks whenever 
they heard a program of similar nature, claiming their 
ideas were "stolen" without due compensation. The 
networks began enforcing policies, in agreement with 
radio and television producers, not to review or 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



accept any outside submissions. For scriptwriters 
offering their work in the hopes of making a sale it 
became a bit more complicated. 

The success of the Dr. Christian radio script led to 
multiple attempts on Serling's part to submit more 
proposals to other coast-to-coast radio programs. 

"I just kept on," he recalled years later to a 
newspaper columnist. "I had to earn a living and took 
a staff writing job on a Cincinnati radio station; but 
during every spare moment I turned out more free- 
lance scripts. Finally, I sold three others, but for each 
play accepted there were at least three or more 
turned down." 

Serling began writing scripts that were dramatized 
not on a national coast-to-coast hookup, but in the 
local Ohio listening area. "The Colonel's Coin" was a 
script in memorandum to Memorial Day. On May 8, 
1 948, he completed a V-E Day script which was 
regarded by the station manager as "the first script 
this year that kept me on the edge." In 1 948, Serling 
scripted Party Line, a short-run program sponsored 
by the Army Recruiting Headquarters. Serling played 
himself in a number of skits he composed, including 
the lead role of Cooper. On one episode of this 
program, the announcer stepped aside from his 
normal duties to inform the radio audience that Miss 
Carol Kramer was engaged to Rod Serling, 
announced by her grandparents and the marriage to 
be on July 31. 

But with success came the eventual edge of 
defeat. On September 8, 1949, Serling's radio script 
"Potter's Paradise" was rejected by the advertising 
agency, Wallace-Ferry-Hanly Company, for the First 
Nighter Program. Ira L. Avery, producer for 
Armstrong's Theatre of Today, rejected his script 
"The Memory" in October, because "in the handling 
of familiar plots and themes, selection needs to be 
placed on a level determined by the volume and 
quality of submissions. We regret that, in the light of 
heavy competition, we do not find this story suited to 
our current needs." 

After peddling a football script titled "Cupid at Left 
Half " to Curtain Time and finding that script rejected, 
he wrote to Myron Golden, script editor of the radio 
program, to ask why he had failed to sell a single 
script to Curtain Time. On October 10, 1949, he sent 
the following candid reply: 

"This particular script lacks a professional quality. 
The dialog is spotty, the plot is loose, and the whole 
thing lacks verisimilitude ... It appears to be a 



standard plot that writers somehow or other manage 
to pluck out of the public domain." * 
On August 10, 1949, producer/director Martin Horrell 
of Grand Central Station rejected Serling's prizefight 
script titled "Winner Take Nothing." The script was 
"better than average" Horrell admitted, but the ladies 
who listened to his program on Saturday afternoons 
"have told us in no uncertain terms that prize fight 
stories aren't what they like most." In a letter, Horrell 
offered him what may have been the best advice 
given to the young Ohio resident. "I have a feeling 
that the script would be far better for sight than for 
sound only, because in any radio presentation, the 
fights are not seen. Perhaps this is a baby you 
should try on some of the producers of television 
shows." 

"Those were discouraging, frustrating years," he told 
a columnist in early 1960. "I wanted to quit many 
times. But there was something within me that made 
me go on. I continued writing and submitting scripts 
without pay and, what is even worse, most of the 
time, without recognition. Then at last I came up with 
two plays that were bought by the old Grand Central 
Station series on CBS Radio. I thought that now 
surely I was in. But I wasn't. Day after day, I 
continued to pound the typewriter, with no result." 

Grand Central Station was a radio anthology 
consisting of light comedies and fluffy romance. 
Serling's first sale to the program was "The Local is a 
Very Slow Train." Broadcast on September 10, 1949, 
under the new title of "Hop Off the Express and Grab 
a Local," the story concerned two young men, Joey 
and Steve, who became involved in a murder case 
while trying to escape the slums of the city where 
they live. His second sale for the series was "The 
Welcome Home," broadcast on December 31 , 1949, 
and concerned the story of Bill Grant, a crusading 
reporter for the fictional New York Globe. 

While his first sale was the prize-winning Dr. 
Christian script, the first script to be dramatized 
nationally on radio was the September 10, 1949 
broadcast of Grand Central Station. In early 

* Two of Serling's earliest attempts to sell scripts to a 
national radio program are evident in "Look to the 
Sky," dated July 13, 1947, and "The Most Dangerous 
Game, " dated June 22, 1947. The latter script was 
adapted from the Richard Connell short story of the 
same name. 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



November, his luck hung on long enough for him to 
receive a letter from Rita Franklin of the Dr. Christian 
program, alerting him that his prize-winning "To Live 
a Dream," would finally be broadcast on December 
7, 1949. Scheduling conflicts pushed the script 
ahead a week to November 30, 1 949, and Rod 
Serling's name was once again referenced on the 
Dr. Christian radio program. * 

Serling began working at radio stations such as 
WJEL in Springfield, Ohio, and WMRN in Marion, 
Ohio. Months later, in the spring of 1950, he 
graduated from college, and his first job was at WLW 
in Cincinnati, the Crosley Broadcasting Corporation's 
flagship station. The college radio work had paid $45 
to $50 a week, but WLW was offering $75 weekly 
and the young playwright accepted the job. Members 
of the program's casts were students of the radio 
department at the College of Music in Cincinnati, and 
he often found himself playing a role or two for some 
of the broadcasts. 

It should be noted that among the leaders of the 
entertainment industry who began their careers at 
WLW were Rosemary Clooney, Betty Clooney, Red 
Skelton, Red Barber, Jane Froman, The Mills 
Brothers, Virginia Payne, Doris Day, Durward Kirby, 
Eddie Albert, and Janette Davis.** 

* Serling later submitted a second script to the Dr. 
Christian radio program that was originally titled "The 
Power ofAbner Doubleday" (for reasons unknown 
the title changed to "The Power of Willie Doubleday") 
but failed to make the sale. 



** The Crosley Broadcasting Corporation, founded 
by radio manufacturing pioneer Powel Crosley, Jr., 
was an early operator of radio stations in the U.S. 
During World War II, it operated as many as five 
shortwave stations, using the call signs WLWK, 
WLWL, WLWO, WLW Rand WLWS. In 1945, the 
Crosley interests were purchased by the Aviation 
Corporation. The radio and appliance manufacturing 
arm changed its name to Avco, but the broadcast 
operations continued to operate under the Crosley 
name. From the 1950s through the 1970s, Crosley 
(or Avco) operated a small television network in 
which programs were produced at one of its stations 
and broadcast on the other Crosley stations in the 
Midwest, and occasionally by non-Crosley stations. 



The Local Programs 

Sometime in 1 950 or 1 951 , Serling sold Crosley a 
number of scripts for dramatization on both radio and 
television. It is not clear whether the dramas made it 
to the airwaves, but he did revise the scripts slightly 
and sold them to various television anthologies. 
Among the scripts were "Grady Everett for the 
People," "Law Nine Concerning Christmas," "The 
Sands of Tom," "The Time Element," "The Carlson 
Legend," "The Face of Autumn," "The Hill," "A Time 
for Heroes," "The Keeper of the Chair," "Aftermath" 
and "The Steel Casket." 

Serling also composed a number of radio scripts 
for a proposed radio series titled It Happens to You. 
Among the scripts for this series were "Mr. Finchley 
Versus the Bomb" and "You Be the Bad Guy" (both 
of which were later dramatized on The Lux Video 
Theater); "And Then Came Jones," about the 
mishaps of Wendell Jones, who had papers claiming 
ownership to all the area within six and a half miles 
of Times Square; "The Gallant Breed of Men," about 
Captain Peter Bruce, an ex-captain in the Merchant 
Marine with a conscience; and "Law Nine 
Concerning Christmas," details of which can be 
found under the episode entry for "The Obsolete 
Man." 

From October 1 4, 1 950 to February 1 7, 1 951 , 
Serling authored a weekly program titled Adventure 
Express, which dramatized the exciting travels of 
Billy, Betty and their Uncle Jim, who traveled by train 
across the country seeking high adventure. Each 
week they stopped at a different town and got 
involved with the locals. One episode, for example, 
took place in the wooded countryside of Kansas, and 
another took place in the state of Florida. 

When Serling first proposed this to the station 
manager, his proposal was titled Conducted Tour 
Through America, described as "a radio fantasy- 
drama." The initial concept was about a little boy 
named Stephen Crane and a little girl named Loretta 
Dijon who join the ethereal express operated by an 
old man named Abraham Goldschmidt. The kids 
died from the war, and were now looking across 
America from the train windows, giving their opinions 
of human character as witnessed through the eyes of 
a child. 

From July 23, 1 951 to August 23, 1 951 , he wrote 
a number of scripts for a weekly program titled Leave 
it to Kathy. From September to October of 1 951 , Our 
America presented historical biographies of 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



American historical figures such as Jefferson Davis, 
General Custer and Lewis and Clark. From 
November 24, 1 951 to December 8, 1 951 , a similar 
radio program titled Builders of Destiny gave him the 
opportunity to dramatize biographies of Zane Grey 
and General Philip Sheridan. * 

Among the cast of the Cincinnati radio broadcasts 
was Jay Overholts, who headed a large number of 
radio scripts penned by Serling. The two became 
good friends and in 1959, Serling arranged for 
Overholts to come to California as a stock actor for a 
number of Twilight Zone episodes -- including the 
pilot episode, "Where is Everybody?" 

On November 25, 1949, John Driscoll, story 
editor for The Cavalcade of America, rejected 
Serling's plot outline titled "Father of the Common 
School," which he would later rewrite for an episode 
of the short-run historical dramas broadcast over 
WLW. 

"From a writing point of view, radio ate up ideas 
that might have put food on the table for weeks at a 
future freelancing date," he later said. "The minute 
you tie yourself down to a radio or TV station, you 
write around the clock. You rip out ideas, many of 
them irreplaceable. They go on and consequently 
can never go on again. And you've sold them for $50 
a week. You can't afford to give away ideas - they're 
too damn hard to come by. If I had it to do over, I 
wouldn't staff-write at all. I'd find some other way to 
support myself while getting a start as a writer." 

"No Christmas This Year" was an unproduced 
radio script (written circa 1949-1951), and told the 
tale of a civilization that dispenses with Christmas. 
No one knew exactly why this was so, they just knew 
it was happening, and the mayor of the town claims 
someone high up was responsible for the decision. 
Santa, up at the North Pole, has his own problems. 
The elves are on strike. The factory no longer 
manufactures toys - they produce crying gas, heavy 
bombs, fire bombs, and atomic bombs. Worse, he's 
been shot at when he flies over Palestine and China, 
and one of his elves got hit by shrapnel over Greece. 

* Author Note: The dates of broadcast are accurate 
in this paragraph, but may not necessarily be the 
exact premiere and concluding airdates. A complete 
set of scripts was not available during research and it 
was determined to list the earliest and latest known 
dates of broadcast for those particular series. 



Another of Serling's unsold scripts included "The 
Scene of Lilaces," a half-hour play about Jackie 
Evans who was the victim of a murder. 

On August 23, 1950, Rod Serling created a radio 
serial titled The Jenkins Clan, which he proposed to 
radio station WLW. The series never came to be - or 
at least, no documented evidence has been brought 
to light to verify such a show was broadcast. 
According to Serling's proposal to the station 
manager, the series would be designed for either 
'cross-the-board, five-day-a-week stint, or possibly 
three times a week, The Jenkins Clan could be fitted 
for either. In the case of the former, the show would 
involve a weekly episode - using the five shows to 
tell one complete story. For a 3-times-a-week stint, a 
complete episode might be possible for each 15- 
minute sequence. In either case, The Jenkins Clan is 
primarily a situation comedy using the husband and 
wife combination (Harry and Alice Jenkins) with 
occasional inclusion of other characters. 

Serling's proposal suggested the minimum use of 
two actors, keeping the budget low for the network. 
Beginning with the second season of The Twilight 
Zone and especially during the final season, Serling 
would be subjected to a number of requests by the 
CBS Television Network to write scripts requiring 
fewer actors - strictly for budgetary purposes. 

On July 31 , 1 950, through the advice of friends 
and rejection letters, Rod Serling wrote to Blanche 
Gaines in New York - an agent who specialized in 
handling about two dozen clients attempting to sell 
scripts to both radio and television. Blanche was the 
widow of Charles Gaines, who had died in 1947. He 
was vice president of the World Broadcasting 
System, a pioneer in the production of recorded 
radio series. Among her clients were Frank Gilroy, 
Jerome Ross, Nelson Bond and Helen Cotton. He 
included a few scripts ("Vertical Deep," "The Air is 
Free," and "Look to the Sky"), as samples of his work 
and a resume of successful sales to Dr. Christian 
and Grand Central Station. Gaines reviewed the 
material and gave her opinion regarding the plots 
and the prose, suggesting a variety of programs for 
which to submit them, most notably television's 
Lights Out! and the radio anthology, Suspense. She 
agreed to handle his material on a 15 percent 
commission basis. "It is more difficult to work with a 
writer who is living so far away from New York," she 
explained, "but I think your stuff has merit and am 
willing to try and see what I can do with it." 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



Serling wrote back saying that he was concerned 
about the 15 percent fee, but Gaines assured him 
that it was not permanent. After the tenth sale by the 
same writer, she reduced her commission to 10 
percent, explaining that earliest efforts often brought 
about more rejections, and the 5 percent difference 
offset the costs involved. In the meantime, she 
submitted scripts such as "Temptation," "The Air is 
Free," "Look to the Sky" and "Vertical Deep" to 
television's Suspense, which were all promptly 
rejected for various reasons. Formerly radio scripts, 
Serling began adapting the unsold scripts into 
feasible teleplays. 

On April 21 , 1 951 , the radio program Stars Over 
Hollywood featured "Curtain Call for Carol" with 
Phyllis Thaxter in the title role. When Carol Adams 
appears in a Broadway show backed by her father, 
she was unmercifully panned by Bill Grant, 
temporary drama critic for a large metropolitan 
newspaper. Her anger was further increased when 
the same Grant offered to teach her how to act, 
despite the fact that his real specialty was as a 
sports writer. 

The year 1 952 promoted Serling to a level of 
success that he failed to achieve the previous year. 
The major reason was Blanche Gaines. For every 
script he finished, she sent a formal submission to 
story editors and producers of radio and television 
programs that were on her lists. Every script that was 
rejected by one program was resubmitted to a 
different program. No effort was wasted and sales 
started growing. 

On January 2, 1952, the Dr. Christian radio 
program presented "The Long Black Night," which 
was a major rewrite of Serling's earlier prize-winning 
script, "To Live a Dream." 

The Keeper of the Chair 

While these were some of Serling's earliest 
attempts at fantasy and science fiction for television, 
they would not be his last. His love for this kind of 
stories was evident in a number of early teleplays. In 
his unsold "The Keeper of the Chair," he told the tale 
of a condemned man named Paul, who spends his 
last moments on death row talking to his 
executioner, George Frank, about how many people 
Paul had put to death, and how many Paul felt were 
guilty of murder and deserved to die. However, a 
murder has occurred, the result of a prank, and when 
the warden talks to a guard, looking over the dead 



body, he questions why Paul shouted out "George 
Frank" before he died. They had no guard named 
George Frank. There was a convict by that name 
executed in 1942, and new evidence presented in 
1943 proved his innocence. Paul was the state 
executioner, whose mind snapped over the years, 
having been unable to cope with sending a man to 
the chair for a crime he never committed, and he 
spent his remaining moments hallucinating - a guilt 
complex in the form of his own execution. 

In late 1949, when Serling was still at Antioch 
College, he submitted his radio play of the same 
name to John Meston, the story editor for radio's 
Suspense. On December 1, 1949, Meston returned 
the script, explaining, "After careful consideration, 
the Script Committee has decided that the story is 
not suitable for Suspense." On April 27, 1950, John 
Meston sent another rejection letter to Serling 
regarding the same script, as he had submitted it for 
radio's Escape. By November of 1950, Rod Serling 
was living (at 5016 Sidney Road) in Cincinnati, Ohio, 
and had adapted his radio script into a teleplay, for 
television's Lights Out! program. The script editor 
sent a rejection stating, "This is not well written and 
does not sufficiently get around its basic fallacy that 
the executioner, rather than the jury, is responsible 
for the death of an innocent man." 

Radio Scripts Proposed for The Twilight Zone 

"The Cold Equations" was first published in 
Astounding Magazine in 1 954. Written by Tom 
Godwin, the short story tells of a starship making the 
rounds of Earth colonies, delivering much needed 
medical supplies to a frontier planet. When the pilot 
discovers a stowaway on board, an 18-year-old 
named Marilyn, who wants to see her brother at the 
colony, he realizes a bigger problem ahead for them. 
The ship only has enough fuel for the pilot and the 
cargo. Marilyn's weight and mass will prevent the 
starship from reaching its destination. Marilyn 
accepts the consequences of her mistake, writes a 
farewell letter to her parents, talks to her brother by 
radio, and then enters the airlock - ready to be 
jettisoned into space. 

While this story was never used on the original 
series, the 1 985-89 revival of The Twilight Zone 
featured an adaptation of this short story. On March 
24, 1959, Sylvia Hirsch of the William Morris Agency 
submitted an hour-long teleplay titled "Tomorrow is 
Here" by Whitfield Cook. On March 25, Fred Engel 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



proposed "The Black Hound of Bailundu" by Paul I. 
Wellman. Serling rejected both of these. 

On April 7, 1959, the radio play "Return to Dust" 
was considered for inclusion in the Twilight Zone 
series. Originally broadcast on Suspense, the 
George Bamber story concerned a biologist's efforts 
to decrease cancer cells, and through an accident in 
the lab, found himself slowly shrinking in size. The 
majority of the drama (making the most effective use 
for the medium of radio) was the biologist's effort to 
leave a recorded message explaining his situation 
and where his lab associates could find him, should 
they play back the recording. In the end, however, 
the scientist is down to the size of a bug and still 
shrinking, though he never gets to microscopic size 
because a bird mistakes him for an insect and 
makes a feast of him. 

On June 29, 1959, Jack Stewart & Associates, 
representatives of William N. Robson, wrote to Rod 
Serling, in care of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios: 

Dear Mr. Serling: 

William Robson, who is director-producer and 
sometime writer for CBS's Suspense, has a backlog 
of science stories which he owns. You probably 
know Bill by reputation. He, along with Norman 
Corwin and Arch Oboler, changed the whole 
technique of radio with their wonderful shows. 
Recently Bill won the Mystery Writers of America - 
Special Award - for "Best Suspense Series." Will you 
please let me know when it would be convenient for 
you to talk to him? 

Very cordially yours, 

Jack Stewart 

On July 8, 1959, Rod Serling replied, 
acknowledging Robson's reputation and confessed 
that he was a fan of the producer/director. 
Unfortunately, at the moment, he had over 
purchased the number of story materials beyond the 
actual production commitments. He explained that it 
would be a waste of time for the two to talk on what 
would be a very problematical level, but offered a 
sympathetic and interested ear. "Should our situation 
change and we are once more in the market for 
material, I'd consider it a privilege to meet Robson 
because I recognize it as a fact that he was doing 
wonderful things when I was just still hoping." 

In mid-late August of 1959, Russell Stoneham at 
CBS Television forwarded to Bill Self a copy of a 



radio script penned by Irving Reis, titled "Man of 
Tomorrow." Self liked the story, and passed it on to 
Serling for review. The script has been performed 
twice on CBS Radio - the Escape broadcast of 
August 23, 1 953, and on Suspense on September 1 , 
1957. Serling rejected the idea and had the script 
sent back to CBS. The story concerned an Air Force 
pilot who returns from Korea and agrees to an 
immoral experiment that ultimately surpasses his five 
senses, granting him the opportunity of experiencing 
a sixth sense. 

"The Devil and Sam Shay" had been dramatized 
for Buckingham Theatre in 1950, one of the most 
prestigious coast-to-coast Canadian radio programs. 
Scripted by Robert Arthur of The Mysterious Traveler 
fame, the short story was originally published as 
"Satan and Sam Shay," in the August 1942 issue of 
The Elks Magazine. Arthur sold the rights for his 
radio script and short story to Cayuga Productions 
for a possible third season entry on The Twilight 
Zone. The episode never came to be, but when 
Serling began considering stories for a sixth season, 
he returned to the short story as a possibility. Since 
The Twilight Zone only ran five seasons, the story 
was never adapted for the program. 

To promote The Twilight Zone's premiere on 
television, Rod Serling appeared before the radio 
microphone to promote the television series. On a 
publicity tour in September of 1959, Serling was a 
guest on a number of talk shows: Tony Weitzel's 
radio program (Weitzel is a columnist for The 
Chicago Daily News); Jack Eigan's radio program on 
WMAQ-NBC Radio; eight-minute interview with Don 
McNeill of The Breakfast Club on ABC radio network; 
and an interview with Jack Remington on WKRC. 

Old-Time Radio on The Twilight Zone 

Serling was a frequent listener of a number of 
radio programs, especially of the fantasy and horror 
genre. Arch Oboler and Norman Corwin were among 
the many playwrights who's craft Serling admired (he 
even named the protagonist of "Night of the Meek" 
after Corwin). Many of Serling's Twilight Zone 
episodes resembled plots from radio thrillers, of 
which he was an ardent listener, suggesting yet 
another link to radio dramas as being an influence 
for this television series. 

In "Escape Clause," a man signs his soul to the 
devil in exchange for immortality. After a few weeks, 
he becomes bored with life. Poison tastes like 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



8 



lemonade and the thrill of jumping in front of the 
subway trains only secures him payments from the 
insurance companies. After going to trial for the 
murder of his wife, hoping to give the electric chair a 
whirl, he discovers that his sentence is life 
imprisonment. 

The premise of a man becoming immortal and 
then being sentenced to life imprisonment was done 
previous on Inner Sanctum Mystery, a radio crime 
thriller broadcast from 1941 to 1952. On the evening 
of February 12, 1946, a script by Emile C. 
Tepperman titled "Elixir Number Four," was 
dramatized with Richard Widmark as a young man 
who murders a brilliant chemist, so he can steal and 
drink an experimental elixir that grants immortality. 
His plan goes afoul, however, when the murder is 
uncovered, and the young man is sentenced to life 
imprisonment. 

In "The Hitch-Hiker," a woman driving cross- 
country is terrorized by the sight of a little man who 
continues to appear off the side of the road in front of 
her. Days without sleep come to a conclusion when 
she discovers that she is dead -- the result of a 
blowout on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. And the 
mysterious figure that continues to haunt her is 
Death himself. 

The original radio script, as chilling as the Twilight 
Zone screen adaptation, was dramatized on three 
separate occasions with Orson Welles playing the 
lead for each performance. The first time was on a 
summer filler called Suspense, broadcast on 
September 2, 1942. The popularity of that particular 
Suspense broadcast demanded a repeat 
performance, so Welles obliged a month later on The 
Philip Morris Playhouse, on October 15, 1942. Four 
years later, Orson Welles restaged the same radio 
play for The Mercury Summer Theater on the Air on 
June 21, 1946. 

It is not clear which of the broadcasts exposed 
Rod Serling to the chilling story, but he certainly 
remembered it and wanted to adapt it for The 
Twilight Zone. Lucille Fletcher was represented by 
the William Morris office, so Buck Houghton made 
arrangements to negotiate the price. 

"In view of the prominence of this particular play, I 
think it unlikely that we will get it for under $1 ,000," 
Houghton wrote. "May I suggest that we start at $750 
and move to $1 ,000, if we must." 

One week later, the offer was rejected and 
Houghton wrote to Rod Serling, asking how between 



desperate he wanted the story. "Lucille Fletcher has 
turned down $2,000 for The Hitch-Hiker,' when 
Alfred Hitchcock offered it," Houghton explained. "I 
don't know how much further we would have to go to 
get the property, but I think it is too high for us to 
explore." Leo Lefcourt, the attorney for Cayuga 
Productions, however, was able to secure a firm 
price for the story through the William Morris Agency, 
and completed the purchase for The Twilight Zone. 
The price was $2,000 and a standard W.G.A. 
percentage rerun pattern based on $1 ,100. The story 
had not been done on television, either live or on 
film, giving The Twilight Zone an exclusive. 

The main protagonist of the radio play was a 
man, but Serling changed the sex to a woman, 
"because it's pertinent and it's dramatic to make it a 
woman," he explained. "Nan" was a nickname of one 
of his daughters, Anne. If a press release from early 
January 1960 is accurate, Serling wrote the teleplay 
in under six hours. 

When Richard Matheson submitted the story 
proposal for "The Last Flight," a tale of a WWI fighter 
pilot who lands on a modern-day airfield and finds 
himself displaced out of time. When Serling learned 
of Matheson's proposal, he brought to light a radio 
anthology titled Quiet, Please, scripted by Wyllis 
Cooper. On November 21 , 1948, the program 
offered a similar story titled "One for the Book," about 
an Air Force major who hit Mach 12 in an 
experimental rocket plane in 1957 and found himself 
as an Air Force sergeant in 1 937. Serling remarked 
that Matheson's story "was down-the-line almost a 
twin," and the two considered tracking down Wyllis 
Cooper to purchase the rights and cover their bases, 
but unable to do so, the teleplay went into production 
without further consideration. 

The fact was the stories were similar, but not 
exactly the same. But to purchase the rights of 
Cooper's script was to prevent a possible 
infringement. No rights were ever purchased and no 
lawsuit ever came from the broadcast. 

In "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street," a 
mysterious power outage causes the folks of a 
friendly neighborhood to turn into a murderous 
frenzy. The cause of the power outage was a 
scientific experiment conducted by visitors from outer 
space, studying the effects of human nature and 
how, after taking away some of the modern 
conveniences, resort to self-preservation at the 
destruction of others. The discussion exchanged 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



the outer space visitors is similar to the conclusion of 
a 1951 science-fiction radio script Serling wrote titled 
"The Button Pushers." 

Set in a future Earth, 1970. Huge television 
screens substituted for advertising billboards in 
Times Square, air-way rocket trains carried 
commuters overhead, and the fear of rival nations 
separated by a large ocean covered the front page 
headlines. A bloodthirsty general urges a brilliant 
scientist to complete the development of a new 
weapon, best described as a "doomsday bomb." The 
enemy overseas, reportedly, has already developed 
a similar weapon. The general asks the scientist to 
complete the weapon so that it could be fired with 
the push of a single button - no secondary protocols 
required. The scientist, fearing his weapon could 
start a war that would erase the existence of 
mankind on the entire planet, contemplated the 
centuries of progress - ancient civilizations that built 
the pyramids, the deserted Mayan temples and the 
skyscrapers of today. After 15 minutes contemplating 
the beauty and wonder Earth had to offer, he 
completes the weapon and the Army takes over. 
Against his warnings, the button is pushed. The 
enemy does the same, and the countdown for 
contact begins. 

The ending featured a series of explosions on the 
surface of planet Earth, and two aliens on another 
planet across the universe start the following 
discussion: 



VOICE 1 : Ah, Verus 
planet - Earth? 



Have you see the little 



VOICE 2: Why no . . . come to think of it, Felovius I 
haven't seen it ... In a few hundred light years. 
Seems to have just disappeared all of a sudden. 

VOICE 1 : Ah . . . Then I win my bet. 

VOICE 2: Bet? 

VOICE 1 : Yes, I bet the keeper of the North Star that 
the little Earth would destroy itself before the next 
billion years had gone by . . . and she has. She 
seems to have just blown herself up . . . 
disintegrated. . . she no longer exists. Teh, tch . . . 
Pity . . . she was a lovely little planet. Wonder what 
caused it? 

VOICE 2: That is a question . . . 



VOICE 1 : Oh, what am I thinking of ... I know what 
destroyed it. It had human beings on it. I'd forgotten. 

VOICE 2: Well then, that explains it . . . Those pesky 
little things can't live side by side very long. Shall we 
go back and tell the others? 

VOICE 1 : Why take the trouble? As if anyone cared 
about tiny Earth . . . So unimportant a speck . . . so 
insignificant a dot in the universe. Who cares? 

VOICE 2: / guess you're right, (sighs) Nice night . . . 
So quiet . . . So uneventful. 

In "A Passage for Trumpet," a trumpet player 
named Joey drowns his sorrows with a bottle, and 
commits suicide when he fails to get a job playing 
the trumpet. Soon discovering that he is in limbo, 
between life and death, it takes a bit of spiritual 
guidance to intervene and reveal just what Joey has 
been missing in life. The script was an adaptation of 
a number of teleplays, which in turn were revisions of 
a 1 949 radio script titled, "The Local is a Very Slow 
Train." Serling submitted the idea to the producers of 
the radio anthology, Grand Central Station, who 
purchased the script and re-titled it "Hop Off the 
Express and Grab a Local." The story concerned two 
young men of the slums, Joey and Steve, who get 
involved in a murder. Joey comments not once, but 
twice, about how depressed he became when he 
was reminded of the social group in which he grew 
up, having been raised in the slums of the big city. 
The episode was broadcast over the CBS Radio 
Network on September 10, 1949. 

In 1950, Serling wrote a radio script titled "The 
Dust By Any Other Name," concerning a character 
named Abner Bodner, who attempts to build a 
chemical plant that would produce a magic dust. 
When breathed, the dust would make mortal 
enemies forget their hatred. As a result of his efforts, 
Bodner has an accident that costs him his life, 
proving to everyone in town that a man who dies in 
his belief of peace leaves a larger mark on society. 
He believed in his dream - not the dust. The radio 
script was rejected weeks after being submitted to 
the Dr. Christian radio program. 

On June 19, 1958, CBS presented an episode of 
Playhouse 90, titled "A Town Has Turned to Dust," 
scripted by Serling. This version told the story of the 
lynching of a 19-year-old Mexican boy by a mob 
spurred on by a young merchant, whose hatred of 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



10 



the victim stemmed both from his wife accepting the 
affection of the doomed boy and from a deep-rooted 
prejudice against Mexicans. It was also the story of 
the town sheriff, who gives in feebly to the lynching 
mob, but stands firm when it comes to hanging the 
victim's brother after he defies the Jim Crow 
standards of the town. The brother is saved by the 
sheriff who, after killing the merchant and also is 
dying from the merchant's bullet, tells of the time, 
years ago, when he had led a mob in the ugly 
lawless murder of another man. 

In July of 1 960, Serling took the Playhouse 90 
script and shortened the length (and the title), 
making a number of revisions. In combining both the 
Dr. Christian and Playhouse 90 scripts, he explored 
the motivation of the mob and eliminated any 
reference to a prior hanging for an episode of The 
Twilight Zone titled "Dust." 

The plot of a man going back in time to 1 865 and 
given the opportunity to prevent the course of events 
leading to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln has 
been explored not once - but twice - on radio. The 
first attempt was on Mutual's The Mysterious 
Traveler. On the evening of February 7, 1950, "The 
Man Who Tried to Save Lincoln" dramatized the 
story of a scientist who figures how to transfer a 
man's thoughts back into time and occupy another 
man's body. In this version, the time traveler finds 
himself in the body of John Wilkes Booth. Booth, 
managing to get the better of the voice in his head, 
makes a successful effort to assassinate Lincoln. 
This same script was dramatized again years later 
for Suspense. This same theme was explored on 
The Twilight Zone in the episode, "Back There." 

In "Static," Ed Lindsay, one of the tenants at 
Vinnie's boarding house, longs for the days when 
radio was a medium of entertainment. He tires of 
watching everyone else stay fixated to the television 
programs that insult his intelligence. Digging out the 
old radio from the basement, Vinnie carries the unit 
up to his room and plugs it in. He soon discovers that 
broadcasts of the past are coming through the 
speakers. Every time he tries to get someone else to 
listen with him, however, all that comes through the 
speakers is static. Vinnie, his old flame, believes Ed 
is getting sentimental for the past, during their 
romantic days. But 20 years later, they apparently 
missed their chance. Avoiding the rest of the tenants, 
Ed retires every day to the radio to listen to Let's 
Pretend and Kay Kyser, but is heartbroken when he 



returns from the grocery store one afternoon to find 
the radio had been sold to a junk dealer. Ed sets out 
to find the radio and buy it back. He succeeds and, 
returning the radio to his bedroom and turning it on, 
finds himself transported back to 1940 where he is 
20 years younger - and so is Vinnie. 

While not a Serling script, this Twilight Zone 
episode was the brain child of Ocee Ritch and his 
short story, "Tune in Yesterday." The story certainly 
appealed to Serling, who was responsible for the 
final decision regarding story selection, and felt the 
nostalgic chance to go back to the by-gone days was 
perfect hunting ground for The Twilight Zone. Days 
before the episode went before the cameras, he 
wrote to Ed Wynn, explaining they were doing a 
show called "Static," which involved the use of 
famous radio programs of the past. "Since The Fire 
Chief ' is an integral as well as beloved part of the 
memorabilia of the time, it is essential that it be 
included. So in addition to your permission, I wonder 
if you could give us or tell us where we might obtain 
records or transcriptions of any of your old radio 
shows." 

Wynn replied by phone, explaining to Serling that 
while he had no problem of The Twilight Zone 
featuring sound clips from existing recordings, he 
himself had none in his possession. He 
recommended Serling contact Texaco, the sponsor 
of the series. Buck Houghton, upon learning the sad 
news, explained to Serling that time was of the 
essence, and instead, used a recording of The Fred 
Allen Show'm its place. The F.D.R. address to the 
nation, heard in the soundtrack of this episode, was 
a recording from his fireside chat of April 28, 1935. 
The Fred Allen Show segment with Fred and 
Portland arriving at "Allen's Alley," was a broadcast 
from January 6, 1946. Radio Station WPDA, heard 
over the radio from one of the recordings was 
referencing radio station WPDA in Cedarburg, New 
Jersey. 

For custom recordings for this production, the role 
of the real estate salesman on the television set is 
played by Eddie Marr, a veteran of numerous radio 
broadcasts from the '40s and '50s. According to a 
production report dated November 18, the voice of 
the radio disc jockey is that of Bob Crane, who would 
later play the starring role of television's Hogan's 
Heroes. Though Crane is heard and not seen, this 
episode technically marks his television debut. Crane 
was a local morning disc jockey on a Los Angeles 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



11 



radio station at the time, and he was offered the 
proposal of supplying the voice needed in the 
soundtrack. 

The episode "The Obsolete Man" explored a 
future society in which the State regulated the 
occupations of man and those deemed unworthy of 
advancement are classified "obsolete" and promptly 
executed. When a librarian faces off against the 
Chancellor regarding the usefulness of books 
(banned by the State as nonsense), he devises a 
way to reveal to the State just who should the judge - 
God himself. 

This episode of The Twilight Zone may just have 
been Serling's attempt to dramatize the foolishness 
of a state under dictatorship. The script was a 
combination of two previously written scripts. His 
earliest dates back to the early 1 950s, when Serling 
was writing scripts for radio station WLW in Ohio, 
where he proposed an anthology series titled It 
Happens to You, featuring stories the radio listeners 
would become engrossed in, whimsical tales not too 
dissimilar to The Twilight Zone. Episode 7 titled "Law 
Nine Concerning Christmas," explored the notion of 
a future society in which an unnamed town had a law 
passed which abolished Christmas, a law against 
Christ. The church was declared off-limits to the 
entire village. The mayor, acting much like the 
chancellor in this Twilight Zone episode, tries to 
explain why such a law has been put into effect. The 
state did not recognize any such deity, and therefore, 
neither should the people. Yet, he faced resistance 
when a crowd gathered at the front door of the 
church for midnight mass on Christmas Eve. After 
judging them each for their crimes against the State, 
he attempts to pass sentence - until a little girl 
named Pat reminds the mayor that Christ died for a 
principle, too. 

"Well, Rod and I were residents of Ohio. We both 
wrote for the Dr. Christian program and when I left a 
job in Cincinnati, he took the position," recalled Earl 
Hamner. "Years later, I went to Hollywood and Rod 
introduced me at a party once as the man who gave 
him his first job. [laughs] That really wasn't how it 
was, but I let it go at that. He had success with The 
Twilight Zone and I had a problem getting into 
television," recalled Hamner. "I had written for radio, I 
had written for live television, and I wrote a few 
novels. But I could not sell anything for television." 

In a 1977 issue of Writer's Yearbook with 
columnist and interviewer Ted Allrich, Hamner 



remembered, "I had known Rod Serling slightly in 
New York. One day I called Rod and said I would like 
to submit some stories for his Twilight Zone series. 
He said that it was an awfully hard market to crack, 
but to give it a try. He promised that all the right 
people would read my ideas. His producer called 
back a few days after I submitted some, a nice guy 
named Buck Houghton. Buck had read the stories 
and liked them. But he also said, 'I understand you 
don't write film. Would you like to write these up as 
little plays?' 

"I said, 'No. I'd like to write them up as little 
television shows.' And I did, and I have not been out 
of work since." 

In the Twilight Zone episode "In Praise of Pip," a 
dying man strikes a deal with God -- to exchange his 
life for that of his son, who was dying from wounds 
inflicted at Vietnam. On December 24, 1950, 
Serling's radio script, "Choose One Gift," was 
broadcast over radio station WLW in Ohio and 
explored the same theme later used for "In Praise of 
Pip." The holiday story concerned a soldier named 
Rierden, who suffered life-threatening wounds while 
stationed overseas during the Korean War. The 
doctors and nurses do not have much hope for the 
soldier, but their primary concern is the number of 
wounded that continues to grow every day. Their 
emotions are stretched to the breaking point, and 
they pray to God for relief. Towards the end of the 
drama, it appears a little Divine intervention prevails 
as the wounded soldier recovers and brings them a 
most welcome gift for Christmas - the gift of hope. 

What the Devil? 

On June 11,1 963, Arch Oboler wrote a teleplay 
for the fifth season of Twilight Zone titled, "What the 
Devil?" Millie and Frank, driving a Jaguar across the 
desert, witness a hellish hit-and-run that kills the 
driver of one of the vehicles. In shock, the two start 
to suspect the fleeing driver may have seen them 
and now set his sights on the witnesses. Their 
suspicions are confirmed when, further down the 
road, the huge truck takes chase. The words 
"Danger, High Explosives" are on the side of the 
vehicle, but the driver misses his mark and the 
couple manages to get away. Frank tells Millie he 
caught a glimpse of the driver, and she laughs when 
he tells her it was the Devil. In a game of cat and 
mouse, they manage to switch vehicles, hoping the 
driver is looking for the Jaguar and not a station 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



12 



wagon. Millie, meanwhile, discovers that Frank 
committed a brutal act before leaving on the trip, and 
the driver may be a form of conscience. Ultimately, 
the truck catches up and once again, gives chase, 
hits-and-runs, this time taking the lives of Millie and 
Frank, the police arrive on the scene to find the car 
flattened. One of the officers is puzzled when he 
points out to his partner the hoof prints burned in the 
pavement, "like something walked around watching 
them burn!" 

From 1942 to 1943, Oboler scripted a total of 52 
episodes for a horror program titled Lights Out!, 
sponsored by Ironized Yeast and broadcast over the 
CBS. The premiere episode, aired on October 6, 
1 942, was a radio play titled "What the Devil?" and 
this Twilight Zone teleplay was a faithful adaptation 
of the radio version. Gloria Blondell and Wally Maher 
played the leads for the radio version. Serling 
insisted the script be purchased from Oboler, and 
Bert Granet went along with Serling's decision. (A 
letter dated October 2, 1963, from Granet to Serling, 
suggests that this arrangement was a fiasco, and 
Granet disliked the idea from the start, keeping silent 
to please Serling for a decision that ultimately never 
went before the cameras.) 

Assigned a production number on June 11,1 963, 
the television script was clearly intended to be filmed 
for the fifth season of The Twilight Zone. The attempt 
was short-lived. An M-G-M work order dated August 
13, 1963 announced the cancellation of this 
production, and most of the copies of the scripts 
were returned to Oboler. Serling retained at least two 
copies for his records, and donated one to UCLA. 
According to tax paperwork and financial records, 
secretarial and other expenses cost Cayuga 
Productions a total of $420.47. No paperwork has 
been found to verify how much Arch Oboler was paid 
(if he was paid at all) for his teleplay, which would 
have been an additional expense to Cayuga. 

The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas 

On March 4, 1 965, a variation of the Twilight 
Zone episode, "A Nice Place to Visit," aired on the 
radio program, Theater Five. "The Land of Milk and 
Honey" was an almost mirrored copy of the same 
story, right down to the final surprise ending. In 
March of 1974, Rod Serling was in Houston, in 
association with Mutual Broadcasting System, during 
the National Association of Broadcasters 
Convention. He was promoting his new radio 



program, Zero Hour, which he was heavily involved 
with. This short-run program was Serling's attempt at 
another anthology program - and possibly his 
chance to retain control of his own program without 
the interference of the network and movie studios. 

The December 21 , 1 960 issue of The Hollywood 
Reporter reported Serling's sale of a radio program 
to CBS, suggesting the network wanted to broadcast 
a radio series adapted from television scripts of The 
Twilight Zone. This is not a farfetched notion as 
some might ponder, because the television series 
Have Gun - Will Travel had been adapted to radio 
two years previous on the CBS Radio Network. This 
concept never fleshed into radio dramas until four 
decades later when producer Carl Amari decided to 
present new dramatizations based on this classic 
program. A lifelong fan of old-time radio, Amari 
decided to revive the series not as a nostalgic 
recreation of radio as it once was. Instead, Amari 
commissioned fresh radio adaptations based on the 
original 156 teleplays along with new story ideas 
never seen or heard on The Twilight Zone. Among 
the prolific writers responsible for adapting the 
teleplays into 160 History of The Twilight Zone 
feasible radio scripts are World Fantasy Award- 
winning writer Dennis Etchison. Recorded in digital 
stereo, narrated by Stacy Keach and starring a 
remarkable cast of actors, these exciting productions 
take the art of audio drama to an audience that may 
not have seen the Twilight Zone productions when 
they were first telecast from 1 959 - 1 964. 

Among the radio dramas are adaptations of 
teleplays written by Charles Beaumont and Jerry 
Sohl that were commissioned but never produced, 
such as "Free Dirt" and "Who Am I?" The program 
has been syndicated across the country on XM and 
Sirius Satellite Radio, as well as a number of local 
radio stations. They can also be presently heard over 
the Yesterday USA Network on the internet, and CD 
box sets are available commercially. 

Special thanks to: Terry Salomonson, Earl Hamner, Bill 
Bragg, Walden Hughes and Carl Amari for their 
assistance with this article. 

Martin Grams Jr. is the author and co-author of 
seventeen books about old-time radio and television. His 
most recent include The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the 
Door to a Television Classic (OTR Publishing, 2008) and 
The Radio Adventures of Sam Spade (OTR Publishing, 
2007). 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



13 



Sweet Dreams: 

Noble Visions of a Confectioner 
Jim Cox 

My perception is that all of us are familiar, at least 
to a limited extent, with some of the basic 
parameters surrounding the lives of David Sarnoff 
and William S. Paley. As chairman of the Radio 
Corporation of America, Sarnoff is recalled as the 
man who — more than any other individual — for 
several decades supplied passionate oversight to the 
development of the National Broadcasting Company. 
Acting in the same epoch, his equivalent, Paley, 
performed similar duties as chairman of NBC's 
foremost rival, the Columbia Broadcasting System. 
While there was no single individual credited with 
launching the third transcontinental web, the Mutual 
Broadcasting System, when NBC was ordered to 
concentrate its activities into a single chain, the 
name of Edward J. Noble popped up in the annals of 
network broadcasting. 

Noble is a man about whom we know precious 
little beyond the fact that he made money as a 
prosperous confectioner. How much else have you 
remembered about him? He was a great deal more 
than a mere opportunist, out to make a fast buck, 
although the few details we have learned about him 
could lead us to speculate on purely avaricious 
ambitions. In the brief span of a decade in which he 
controlled the fourth major chain, nevertheless, his 
overriding intent wasn't about money. He possessed 
some lofty ideals for his network, sensing an 
obligation to those who benefited by it. He aimed to 
establish it on a foundation that competitor webs 
might find worthy of emulating. Noble was a man of 
some obvious principles and ideals, a fact that most 
of us may have simply missed. 

Before reviewing his life, let's examine the 
environment that netted an opportunity for his 
involvement in network radio. In May 1 941 , the 
Federal Communications Commission, a 
Washington watchdog then almost seven years of 
age, issued a sweeping opinion that stated in part: 

"We do not believe ... that any substantial 
justification can be found for NBC's operation of two 
stations in New York, Washington, Chicago, or San 
Francisco. In none of these cities are the better 
radio facilities so numerous as to make it in the 
public interest for any one network organization to 




Edward J. Noble 



control two stations; in each case such dual 
ownership is bound to obstruct the development of 
rival networks and the establishment of new 
networks.... Competition will be greatly 
strengthened if the best facilities in important cities 
are not so tied in the hands of a single network 
organization.... We find, accordingly, that the 
licensing of two stations in the same area to a single 
network organization is basically unsound and 
contrary to the public interest...." 

After NBC was ordered to separate stations, 
transmitters, studios, furnishings, equipment and 
personnel in 1 941 , on January 9, 1 942, it established 
the Blue Network Company, Inc. In 1943, NBC's 
Mark Woods was appointed president. The Blue 
was put on the block at an asking price of $8 million, 
a figure sanctioned by NBC president-CEO David 
Sarnoff. Woods soon heard rumblings that well 
connected business tycoon Edward J. Noble, a 
prominent confectioner who presided over the Life 
Saver manufacturing enterprise, an ex-bureaucrat 
and radio station owner, was interested. But the 
notion faded after Noble signaled that the sum was 
unreasonable. 

An original bid of $6 million was offered by James 
H. McGraw Jr., president and chairman of McGraw- 
Hill Publishing Company, Inc., and Noble. This was 
soon followed by a bid of $6.5 million by Thomas P. 
Durell of 44 Wall Street, which was raised to $7 
million by the McGraw-Noble group. NBC parent 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



14 



RCA rejected this bid and McGraw-Noble then 
inquired whether a firm bid of $7.5 million would be 
acceptable. They learned that Dillon, Read & Co. 
interests that had been active in Blue Network sales 
prospects at the time of the first FCC order were 
again considering a purchase of the property. 

Woods began complex negotiations with the 
investment house Dillon, Read & Co. They offered 
$7,750,000. The details of the transaction were put 
in writing but Woods had trouble getting David 
Sarnoff on the telephone. Finally he reached him. 
Woods later recalled: "I explained to Mr. Sarnoff that 
my new associates were in my office with me, and I 
would like to bring them to his office so that he could 
meet them." 

Sarnoff answered, "There must be some mistake, 
Mark! I have just sold the Blue Network Company to 
Ed Noble and James McGraw.... They are in my 
office; I would like you to meet them and we'll close 
the deal." 

When Woods got to Sarnoff's office, he learned 
that Noble had finally agreed to pay $8 million for the 
network. He told Woods he had tried to get it for $7 
million but Sarnoff had been unwilling to budge. 

Woods saw a chance to do something for the 
man who was apparently destined to become his 
boss. Woods reminded Sarnoff that they had 
discussed an RCA-sponsored series over the 
projected independent network. Could they settle 
that now? Woods had specific figures in mind. For 
the first year time costs should be $650,000; talent, 
$350,000; total $1 million. 

Sarnoff inquired, "Is that what you want, Mark?" 

"Yes!" 

Sarnoff agreed. Noble, seeing he had 
recouped a million dollars, was pleased. 

The $8 million figure was the largest sale in 
broadcasting history. It topped bids of such 
formidable contenders as fabled Chicago 
haberdasher Marshall Field, the storied Pittsburgh 
Mellon financiers and Paramount Pictures. McGraw 
of McGraw-Hill Publishing Company soon withdrew 
as joint owner leaving Noble as sole Blue network 
purchaser. Despite his enormous personal wealth, 
to complete the transaction, Noble put up $4 million 
of his own money; then he borrowed $1 million from 
Commercial Bank and Trust Company of New York, 
and $1 .5 million from each of New York's Bankers 
Trust Company and Central Hanover Bank and Trust 
Company. RCA, meanwhile, spent $1 .1 million on 



the radio series proffered in the exchange. And 
Noble did become Woods' boss — Woods was 
named president of the network while Noble was 
chairman of the board. 

Included in the transaction, furthermore, were 
three pivotal stations in the Blue's operation: New 
York's WJZ, the web's flagship outlet; Chicago's 
WENR; and San Francisco's KGO. Following 
hearings, the FCC granted approval for the transfer 
of those stations' licenses. At the same time, 
Noble's new venture included 143 Blue network 
affiliates. 

RCA publicly announced the sale of the Blue web 
on July 30, 1943, to Noble's American Broadcasting 
System, Inc. It was approved by the FCC on 
October 12, 1943. The network retained most 
existing staff and signed leases on two theaters plus 
equipment and studios at NBC. For the present, 
principally due to wartime shortages, flagship outlet 
WJZ continued to air from Radio City on a 1 0- 
yearlease. 

Seeking more prestigious nomenclature instead 
of mere hue, Noble acquired the appellation 
American Broadcasting Company (ABC) for his 
enterprise. The changeover involved tricky 
negotiations with broadcasting czar George B. Storer 
who owned — and retained — title to a then defunct 
American Broadcasting System. The Blue chain was 
officially rebranded on June 15, 1945. 

Edward John Noble, the new network's owner, 
was suitably well-heeled and politically connected. 
Born in upstate New York at Gouveneur on August 
8, 1882, he was educated at Syracuse and Yale 
universities. In 1 91 3, he and partner J. Roy Allen 
purchased the Life Saver mint candy business from 
a Cleveland manufacturer and turned it into a 
multimillion-dollar enterprise. Investing heavily in the 
Life Savers Corporation, Noble became its president 
while his brother, Robert P. Noble, was vice 
president. By 1 937 their titles and responsibilities 
were respectively upgraded to chairman of the board 
and executive vice president. Still chairman in 1949, 
Edward Noble saw his sibling rise to president of the 
corporation. 

On the way to incredible wealth, he formed the 
Edward J. Noble Company in 1915 in New York City, 
shepherding it for eight years, capitalizing on 
manufacturing and distributing advertising devices 
and novelties. Having also taken up yachting and 
flying as sideline interests, on July 9, 1938, Ed Noble 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



15 



was appointed by U. S. President Franklin D. 
Roosevelt as chairman of the newly created Civil 
Aeronautics Authority. He resigned April 13, 1939, 
to become Under Secretary of Commerce, a post 
occupied from June 1 939 to August 1 940. He left it 
to support an unsuccessful presidential bid by 
Wendell L. Willkie. 

In 1941 Noble bought New York's WMCA Radio 
for $850,000. When he purchased the Blue web 
coupled with a trio of influential affiliates in 1943, he 
allowed that he hoped to make the Blue "a sort of 
New York Times of the industry," adding, "I'd be 
perfectly happy with meager profits." The Federal 
Communications Commission rulings prohibited him 
from continuing to own WMCA while adding WJZ to 
his portfolio as both stations served the same 
market. Thus he, too, looked for a buyer. He found 
one in Nathan Straus, ex-U. S. housing chief, who 
purchased WMCA for $1 ,255,000 in September 
1943. 

Three months later, Noble sold 12.5 percent of 
his interest in the Blue Network to Time, Inc., headed 
by chairman Henry R. Luce, and 12.5 percent to 
advertising executive Chester J. LaRoche. He 
repurchased all of those shares in October 1945. In 
addition, in late 1943, he sold small percentages of 
interest in the Blue Network to the web's president, 
Mark Woods, and Edgar Kobak, executive vice 
president. Kobak, incidentally, resigned from the 
Blue in 1 944 to cast his lot with MBS. 

It became obvious to many observers quite early 
that — coupled with the business acumen that made 
him prosperous — Noble was eager to share his time 
and talents to benefit millions who weren't as 
fortunate. While he was deeply involved in 
numerous nonprofit endeavors, including more than 
space permits, some examples suffice. The 
nobleman gave freely to St. Lawrence University at 
Canton, New York, from which he received an 
honorary doctor of laws in 1 939, and was that 
institute's trustee chairman. In August 1945, he was 
appointed chairman of the service division of the 
New York National War Fund. In October 1946, 
Noble was named head of the Salvation Army's 
annual fundraising drive for 1 947, a role that was 
extended to 1 948. He was general chairman of the 
1953 March for Dimes crusade for Greater New 
York. For a while Noble was chairman of the board 
of North Country Hospitals, Inc., operating medical 
centers in three upstate New York cities. 



The American Broadcasting Company's purchase 
of the King-Trendle Broadcasting Corporation in 
1946, including Detroit's WXYZ and Grand Rapids' 
WOOD (the latter resold a short time afterward), 
gave Ed Noble an opportunity to diffuse any lingering 
stability issues in the trade about intentions for his 
nascent network. Revelations from the Candy Man- 
turned-broadcaster, while brief, put to rest whatever 
concerns the industry may have harbored for the 
short term. His declarations hinted that Noble 
accorded his responsibility to a high plateau in 
influencing the national landscape. 

"I did not buy the Blue Network as a speculation," 
he told The New York Times in July 1 946. "I bought 
it to acquire an opportunity to build a great radio 
network. I am not interested in selling the company 
at any price.... I am not selling and have no 
intention of selling any of my shares this year or next 
or any future year so far as one can humanly know. 
It is my desire and ambition to help develop the still 
unrealized potentialities of radio as one of our 
nation's richest assets — bringing entertainment, 
enlightenment and education to all people." 

Some seven years later Noble did relinquish 
control of ABC as American Broadcasting merged 
with United Paramount Pictures in 1953, although he 
remained with the parent firm as a director. He was 
chairman of the executive committee of the Life 
Savers Corporation in 1 956 when it combined with 
Beech-Nut Packing Company, a manufacturer of 
baby foods, chewing gum, peanut butter and coffee. 
Death overtook him at 76 on December 29, 1958, at 
his home in Greenwich, Connecticut. 
Noble possessed the physical assets, abilities and 
zeal to form ABC at the time they were needed. He 
secured a foundation for a future media empire that 
was to gradually rival juggernaut chains exhibiting 
decades of history, experience, affiliates and 
acclaim. In an arena in which it convincingly 
challenged its rivals — while it would take some 
time — ABC was to compete fairly and to eventually 
win. Whether those were Noble's objectives or some 
other, all who labor for ABC today owe him a debt of 
gratitude. They may be proud of the legacy of Ed 
Noble, a determined Johnny-Come-Lately who was 
at the right place at the right time to secure the 
prospects of legions of workers in the generations 
that followed. 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



16 



First 3D Movie Still Leaps from 
Memory 

Bob Cox 

In late 1 952, my father and I drove to the 
Tennessee Theatre on West Main Street to 
experience the city's first 3D movie, "Bwana Devil," 
starring Robert Stack. The color film promo promised 
"A Lion in Your Lap - A Lover in Your Arms." Being a 
young lad of ten, I was more fearful of the mushy 
lover than a ferocious lion, reasoning that I had a 
fighting chance with the wild beast. The simplistic 
plot involved two vicious lions, randomly dining on a 
crew of British railway workers in Kenya in 1 898. 

Upon entering the theatre lobby for the evening 
viewing, we were each handed a pair of cardboard 
"glasses," containing red and blue lenses. After 
patronizing the refreshment counter, we chose seats 
about halfway down the center section, having been 
warned not to sit too close to the screen lest we be in 
harm's way. As show time approached, growing 
tension could be sensed throughout the theatre. 

When the movie finally commenced, the 3D 
effect was impressive without being unduly 
threatening. Suddenly, a variety of missiles were 
hurled at our faces, chests, and laps from an array of 
objects, ranging from ravenous lions to crude spears. 
Over the next 79 minutes, the audience blinked, 
ducked, flinched, squirmed, gasped and screamed, 
occasionally spilling their popcorn and soft drinks. A 
few hardy patrons kept their glasses on throughout 
the entire movie, savoring each exciting scene as it 
unfolded on the screen. The nervous crowd soon 
learned that closing their eyes or removing their 
glasses would immediately neutralize the 3D effect. 

This unique film genre was being ushered in to 
combat the loss of income resulting from the 
intrusion of television into homes. This less than 
impressive technology had been around since 1915 
with modest acceptance by the public. The 5000 
participating U.S. theatres utilized two projectors to 
reproduce two images (left eye and right eye) 
through polarizers onto a screen, where it could be 
viewed using a pair of glasses with matching filters. 
The result was the illusion of depth as perceived by 
our brains. 

These movies were not without problems. 
Projectionists had to continually monitor the picture 
quality; people occasionally left the theatre 



experiencing headaches and dizziness. By the 
conclusion of the film, the cardboard glasses had 
become very uncomfortable. Moviegoers soon 
became weary of lackluster plots and 3D gimmicks, 
forcing production crews to focus more on the story 
lines than on special effects. The 3D fad of 
yesteryear was coming to a finale, delivering only 46 
films between late 1 952 and early 1 955. 

I attended several 3D cinemas during this time, 
most playing at the Majestic Theatre. My favorites 
were "House of Wax" (1953 in stereo), "The Maze" 
(1953), "Hondo" (1953 with John Wayne) and "The 
Creature from the Black Lagoon" (1954). 

As Dad and I exited the theatre and headed for 
our car in the direction of Fountain Square, I glanced 
up at the lights emitting from our slumbering tranquil 
town in all of its three-dimensional glory ... and 
without the use of projectors, polarized images, or 
cardboard lenses. I had returned to the real 3D 
world. 

If anyone has additional information about area 
3D movies, please let me hear from you. 

This article first appeared in the Johnson City (Tenn) 
Press, on July 1 1, 2005 boblcox@bcvesteryear.com . 



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The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



17 



A Backstage Visit to NBC Radio 
City, San Francisco, in the 1950s, 

Pt. 2 

Fred Krock 

Master Control 

When visitors got off an elevator into the third 
floor foyer, master control was visible straight ahead 
through plate glass windows. Studios H and J were 
visible through windows on the right. The recording 
room was visible on the left. 

Master control was the switching center of Radio 
City. It was the hub of the operation. In the early 
1950s, it fed KNBC, KNBC-FM, KGO, KGO-FM, and 
could feed the two radio networks, NBC and ABC. 
Every audio line in and out of the building went 
through master control. It also had a Morse code 
circuit to communicate with engineers at the KNBC 
Belmont transmitter. 




In most radio stations, the mixing consoles were 
self contained devices -- all amplifiers needed for 
operation were inside the console, or in an adjoining 
equipment rack. But this was not the case in Radio 
City. 

Almost all the amplifiers used in the building were 
located in an equipment room behind master control 
on the third floor. Mixing consoles in individual 
control rooms were nothing but passive mixers. This 
required a lot of wire, one million feet according to 
NBC. 

For example, a microphone in a studio was 
connected to an amplifier in the equipment room. 
The signal was amplified and then sent to the mixing 
console in the control room for that studio. There it 



was mixed with other sounds and sent back to the 
equipment room where it was amplified and sent 
back to the control room again to go through a 
master gain control. Then it went back to the 
equipment room to be amplified one final time. 
Another circuit connected a VU (volume) meter in the 
console with the final amplifier in the equipment 
room. 




Signals went through patch panels in master 
control and in the control room at every step in the 
process. If an amplifier failed, a spare could be 
patched into the circuit very quickly. Broadcast 
equipment in the building had not been installed by 
NBC engineers. It was wired under contract by a 
crew of IBEW electricians. 

Power for all the amplifiers came from very large 
power supplies with storage batteries floating on 
their outputs. This provided an early day UPS 
(Uninteruptable Power Supply). I heard several 
different estimates of how long the batteries by 
themselves could power the equipment. Probably 
they were good for several days. One of the 
souvenirs in the shop was what was left of a 
screwdriver which accidentally had shorted out one 
of the battery banks. 

The NBC Chime Machines 

Master control also had the main and backup 
chime machines. All the studios had sets of chimes 
which could be played manually with a mallet in an 
emergency, but most of the time those familiar NBC 
trademark chimes came from a machine. 
Chime machines were developed so that the 
duration and volume of the chimes would be 
constant. NBC had problems with volume levels as 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



18 



different announcers played chimes on or off 
microphone and in different tempos. The chimes 
were a system cue telling affiliate stations that the 
network feed had ended. They had to be loud, clear, 
and precisely on time. 

Chime machines went into service on NBC starting 
in 1 930. The chime sounds were generated by a 
mechanism similar to a music box. An electric motor 
turned a revolving drum with properly spaced pins 
striking against a series of metal reeds tuned to the 
chime pitches. These vibrations were detected 
magnetically and amplified to create the familiar 
three note NBC chimes. 

The chime machine usually operated 
automatically. Two seconds before the program was 
scheduled to end, the chime machine would interrupt 
whatever was coming from a studio and connect 
directly to the network or to the transmitter. KNBC 
used the chimes as a trademark at the end of a 
number of local programs which were not fed to the 
network. 

Sets of manual NBC chimes are available on the 
collector"s market today. NBC would give souvenir 
chimes to sponsors or other VIP"s as favors or as 
Christmas presents, thus the large supply. 




The Announcer's Delight 

An unusual feature of the NBC operation nation- 
wide was that the announcers, not the engineers, 
had jurisdiction over all program switching. At most 
radio stations, an announcer would give a cue to the 
engineer who would throw a switch and turn up a 
fader. This was not the way it was done at NBC. 
Consoles had no switching capability. 



Announcers controlled switching with a device 
called the Announcer's Delight. There was one in 
every studio. In large studios, like Studios A, B, and 
C, they were in cabinets on wheels so they could be 
located where convenient, depending on the studio 
setup. 

The front panel of an Announcer's Delight 
contained indicator lights, push buttons, and 
switches to control program routing. Relays which 
actually did the switching were located in master 
control. When Radio City, opened the announcer 
could: 

Turn microphones on and off or use a 
microphone to talk to the control room. 

Turn transcriptions on and off. 

Join or drop either the Red or the Blue Network.* 

Turn a remote line on or off. 

Feed the program to either KGO or KPO.* 

Feed the program to either the Red or Blue 
Network.* 

Monitor either radio station or either network.* 

Trigger the chime machine.* 

Enable or disable automatic operation of the 
chime machine.* 

Select what was monitored in the studio. 

Adjust headphone and studio monitor speaker 
volume. 

The Announcer's Delight also allowed an 
announcer to disable automatic chime operation and 
to trigger chimes manually for programs with soft end 
times like live sports broadcasts. This switching 
flexibility led to the notorious incident when two 
announcers simultaneously fed the wrong tag to the 
wrong station. A speech by the Pope was on KPO. 
Al Pearce and his Gang was on KGO. Both 
programs ended at the same time. The Pope's 
speech was tagged with, "Join us again tomorrow for 
more fun and nonsense from Al Pearce and his 
Gang." Al Pearce's show was tagged with, "You 
have just heard an address by His Holiness, Pope 
Pius." This story was told by John Grover, long time 
NBC announcer and collector of bloopers. Engineers 
were happy to let announcers have switching 
jurisdiction. Contracts with sponsors called 

(* These functions were restricted to only one station 
or network after KGO and the Blue Network were 
sold in 1943. This prevented playing the NBC chimes 
on the Blue Network, or feeding the wrong network 
to KPO or KGO by mistake.) 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



19 



for large financial penalties for errors. Typically, if a 
program were joined more than nineteen seconds 
late, the sponsor got the air time free for the whole 
program. A five second error called for something 
like a fifty percent discount on the air time. Engineers 
were perfectly happy not to share the blame when 
mistakes occurred. 

Usually, engineers opened faders before a switch 
occurred. The only usual exception was when an 
announcer pushed the transcription button. The 
engineers faded up records and transcriptions as 
they started. On rare occasions, when a network 
program was joined in progress, the engineer would 
fade up under a live local voice-over. 

In Chicago, the home of the musicians' union, 
musicians had jurisdiction over playing recorded 
music at the NBC owned station. Two men were in 
the control room, a musician and an engineer. The 
musician played recorded music on a separate set of 
turntables. The engineer adjusted volume levels, 
played transcriptions, and did everything else. 

Problems with Turntables 

Seventy-eight RPM phonograph records played 
on KNBC had a characteristic sound. When the 
record first started, the speed went slightly above 
seventy-eight RPM, then settled down to the correct 
speed. This caused a very subtle change of pitch. 
The RCA turntables used by KNBC were 
responsible. 




RCA turntables were gear driven. The platter 
which revolved was fairly heavy, about ten to fifteen 
pounds, to provide stability. Soft rubber blocks 
provided isolation between the turntable shaft and 



the gear box. The engineer would start the turntable 
revolving before he received the cue to start playing 
a record. He would hold the record stationary while 
the turntable revolved underneath, to keep it from 
playing until he received his cue. This technique was 
called slip starting. The friction of the stationary 
record on top of the revolving turntable would 
compress the rubber isolation blocks. When the 
record was released to start playing, energy stored in 
the compressed rubber blocks caused the turntable 
to over-speed slightly. This effect was heard only on 
78 RPM phonograph records. Thirty-three and one- 
third RPM transcriptions were not affected. 




Older model RCA turntables had another 
delightful feature. The lever which selected speed, 
either 33 1/3 or 78 RPM, was located underneath the 
record. If an engineer started playing a record or 
transcription at the wrong speed, he had to turn off 
the turntable, move the pickup aside, remove the 
record, change the speed, put the record back on the 
turntable, put the pickup back on the record, and 
restart the turntable. This took as long as it sounds. 
Did I personally ever get caught by an RCA 
turntable? Why do you think I remember this? 

RCA's first turntable was even worse. It required 
sticking a special tool into a slot under the record to 
change speed. Later models of RCA turntables had 
the speed control on the rim of the platter so speed 
could be changed without having to remove 
anything. 

The front of an RCA turntable cabinet opened. 
Frequently engineers would store things inside. 
Unlike most turntables which had the motor at the 
top, RCA turntables had the motor, gear box, and 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



20 



several universal joints at the bottom of the cabinet. 
One KGO engineer, who happened to be the 
president of the union local, would work on various 
handicraft projects in the control room while he was 
riding the network or playing long transcribed 
programs. He stored his craft supplies under a 
turntable until one evening while a transcription was 
playing some supplies got caught in the mechanism 
bringing the program to an abrupt halt. This led to a 
company memo which ended the practice of using 
turntable cabinets as storage lockers. 

The Recording Room 

On the left side of the third floor foyer was the 
recording room, which originally contained six disc 
recording lathes. By the 1950's, most of the lathes 
had been replaced by tape recorders, used to tape- 
delay programs for future broadcast. Lathes still 
were used for recording commercials. 

Transcribed announcements had begun to arrive 
from advertising agencies on pre-recorded tapes 
rather than on transcription discs. Cart machines had 
not been invented yet. The spots were dubbed onto 
16-inch transcription discs for play on the air. 
All disc recording had been concentrated in one 
room for several reasons. An engineer could not mix 
a program and run a recording lathe at the same 
time. Invariably, the lathe needed attention at the 
same instant some part of the program required 
undivided attention from the engineer. One engineer, 
however, could oversee several recording lathes at 
the same time. 




a regular witches brew of lacquer, plasticizers, dyes, 
lubricants, and much more. They were called 
instantaneous recordings because they could be 
played immediately after recording. Wax masters, 
which had been used earlier, could not be played 
until they were processed and a record was pressed. 

Cutting records threw off a thread of plastic which 
was called the chip. This stuff was dangerously 
explosive if you touched a match to it. Gun cotton is 
cellulose nitrate. The chip was sucked into a tube 
connected to a vacuum pump. Then the chip 
automatically was dumped into a tank of water for 
safety as it was collected. 

Two 1 6 inch discs were needed to record a half 
hour program. Sound quality deteriorated when the 
recording got close to the inside. To prevent the 
sound quality from changing noticeably when 
segueing from one disc to another, the first fifteen 
minutes would be recorded cutting from the outside 
of the disc to the inside. The second half hour would 
be recorded starting at the inside going out. The 
segue was made from inside cut to inside cut, so the 
sound quality did not change. Another advantage of 
this technique was that the best sound quality of the 
transcription, at the outside of the disc, was heard 
next to live announcer voices at the beginning and 
end of the show. 



Instantaneous recording discs were made from 

aluminum coated with cellulose nitrate lacquer. They 

were called acetates in the business. This was a 

misnomer because they were coated with nitrate, 

rather than acetate plastic. Actually, the coating was 




The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



21 



At fourteen minutes into the program, the 
engineer would start cutting silence on the second 
disc. When all was well and the chip was collecting 
properly, the engineer would turn on the sound and 
at the same time spiral the first recording to create a 
visible track one minute long. The playback engineer 
had one minute to synchronize the two discs and 
then cross fade. This technique was needed only 
when music played continuously through the cross 
fade time. Usually the engineer would listen to the 
beginning of the second disc, note a good cross fade 
point, like the end of a sentence, cue to that point, 
and make a regular slip-start of the second disc. 

During World War II aluminum was needed for 
war production more than it was needed for 
recording blanks. Very thin glass was used as a 
substitute base for recording discs. These discs were 
called glassies. They were extremely fragile. A hard 
look was almost enough to break one. You could 
break a glassie by bumping it too hard on the center 
spindle when putting it on a turntable. 

The recording room was very busy during the 
war. Everything broadcast by KPO was recorded for 
review by government censors. KPO could be heard 
clearly at night all over the eastern half of the North 
Pacific Ocean. The government wanted to be sure 
that no spies were sending secret messages to the 
enemy. Weather reports and forecasts were 
prohibited. 

Since everything was recorded and all network 
programs were live, some spectacular bloopers were 
preserved. Whenever they caught something 
particularly good, the engineers would dub a copy for 
John Grover who collected bloopers. 
One from Grover's collection had a moral about 
watching where you put a page break in a script. The 
Superman program was wrapping up. The cast 
rarely rehearsed these programs. Actors were 
expected to be able to perform reading the script 
cold. Once again, Superman had vanquished evil. 
Reporter Clark Kent had scored a great success with 
his story. He was being congratulated by editor Perry 
White with these words: "Well, Clark, what do you 
want me to do? Kiss your (pause to turn page) foot?" 
The entire cast broke up. They laughed their way up 
to the closing commercial without finishing the script. 
The announcer couldn't make it through the closing 
commercial. A different voice didn't have much better 
luck with the Blue Network system cue. 



Studios H, J and K 

Windows on the right side of the third floor foyer 
allowed visitors to see into Studio H and Studio J. 
The letter I was not used, to prevent confusion with 
the numeral 1 in documentation. Each studio had its 
own control room. These two studios were used for 
routine station breaks and for recorded music 
programs. 

A typical program on KNBC would be The Burgie 
Music Box." On KGO it would be Lucky Lager Dance 
Time." Studio J, closer to Master Control, was used 
by KNBC. Studio H was used by KGO. By the 1950's 
almost all local program content on both stations 
originated here. Very few programs originated in the 
second floor studios. 

After KGO moved out in 1954, Studio H 
occasionally was used for separate programs on 
KNBC-FM. At different times, NBC briefly tried a 
classical music format and an all-news format on 
KNBC-FM. 

Programs from Studio J had an unusual sound for 
many years. Turning on the microphone caused a 
slight click on the air. Perhaps the Announcer's 
Delight was so close to the microphone that 
transients from control wiring were picked up by a 
transformer in the microphone. RCA ribbon 
microphones had a transformer inside. Or perhaps 
some other cross-talk was in the wiring. 

After KGO was sold, it used the old newsroom on 
the second floor. A new newsroom for NBC was on 
the fourth floor about where the program department 
office had been. A small studio and control room 
were built next to the newsroom, probably after the 
war ended. This was Studio K. The control room had 
a stock RCA console. It was the only control room 
which did not use amplifiers in the equipment room 
on the third floor. KNBC broadcast several fifteen 
minute newscasts and a farm report every day. They 
originated in Studio K. 

The Engineers' Schedule 

Master Control had two engineers assigned 
twenty-four hours a day. Even when KNBC was off 
the air between 2 and 5 AM, they might be busy 
reversing the network for a news feed from the 
Pacific Rim or the West Coast for use in an early 
morning newscast on the East Coast. NBC service to 
the east began at 3 AM Pacific Time. 

The second engineer was used to provide relief 
breaks for the first master control engineer and 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



22 



occasionally for other engineers. The union contract 
called for two breaks and a lunch hour each day for 
studio engineers. Breaks and the lunch hour were 
sacrosanct. 




RCA Victor Records used the NBC network line 
to record the San Francisco Symphony when it was 
not being used for broadcasts. The orchestra played 
in the Opera House starting at midnight. A line 
installed for Standard Hour broadcasts took the 
sound to Radio City. It was fed on the NBC network 
line to Hollywood where the record masters were cut 
in the RCA recording studio. At that time NBC still 
used 8 kHz telephone circuits for the network. 
Some programs for the West Coast originated at 
KNBC until the NBC Pacific Network closed in 1952. 
Most were designed to provide network service to 
the Pacific Time Zone on Sunday afternoons starting 
at 4 PM when East Coast prime time programs 
began. I remember some truly awful drama shows. 

Sound Effects 

The engineers union, NABET, had jurisdiction 
over sound effects at NBC. This made a certain 
amount of sense because many sounds came from 
phonograph records. Variable speed turntables on 
the sound effects cart had two tone arms. This 
allowed producing a continuous sound, such as an 
automobile running, from a single record. While one 
tone arm was playing, the other could be moved 
back to the beginning of the cut. Turntable speed 
could be changed to simulate the car slowing or 
speeding up. NBC had two sound effect carts at 
Radio City. 

All programs used the same Major, Valentino, or 
Standard sound effect records. Technically, they 
sounded pretty bad. A lot of recorded sounds 
originally came from the movies. You could hear the 



same recorded sound effects on all four radio 
networks. 

Many other sounds were made manually. An 
inflated balloon full of poppy seeds could make the 
sound of surf or of rain falling. Crinkling cellophane 
made the sounds of a crackling fire. The sound of 
breaking glass was made by dropping small, thin 
steel plates on the floor. The sound effects cart had 
a lot of miniature doors with various types of latches 
and locks. Many other sounds, for example filling a 
glass with liquid, were made by the real thing. 



T 



Sound effects men were allowed to use their 
voices to produce sounds without having to belong to 
the announcer's union as long as they did not say 
words. One KNBC engineer, a very dignified middle- 
aged man wearing a bow tie, could imitate perfectly 
the sound of a crying baby. 

Microphone Wars 

NBC had a rule that all equipment used by the 
network must be made by RCA. The KNBC 
transmitter in Belmont had been converted from a 
General Electric to an RCA by repainting it and 
installing an RCA name plate to comply. 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



23 



This all-RCA equipment rule led to an interesting 
squabble with a major sponsor, The Standard Oil 
Company of California (known today as Chevron). 
For many years, Standard had sponsored The 
Standard Hour, a live one-hour program of concert 
music every Sunday evening at eight featuring 
performances by outstanding West Coast 
orchestras, such as the San Francisco Symphony 
and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. It was broadcast 
on the NBC Pacific network throughout the area 
where Standard products were sold. Standard also 
sponsored other programs on NBC and KNBC. 




About 1950, Altec introduced the 21 series 
condenser microphones. These were the first 
modern small-diaphragm condenser microphones. 
They produced a vast improvement in sound quality 
over the RCA ribbon microphones used by NBC. The 
Standard Hour producers wanted to use Altec 
microphones for their broadcasts. NBC said no way, 
we use only RCA microphones. 

Standard threatened to take its entire advertising 
budget, rumored to be two million dollars a year, 
from NBC and go to CBS where good microphones 
were appreciated. NBC officials then decided that 
they could make an exception to the all-RCA 
equipment rule for their good friends at Standard. 
That was how The Standard Hour got to use Altec 
microphones. 

Listeners of old time radio programs occasionally 
would hear comedians making fun of the network 
censors. KNBC had its own censor, euphemistically 
called "Continuity Acceptance Department". As an 
example of the local censor in action, Jimmy Lyons 
in the 1 950's had a late night program of jazz records 
which originated at the Club Hangover in San 
Francisco. (Lyons later went on to found the 
Monterey Jazz Festival.) "Hangover" was a dirty 
word to the local censor. As a result, the program 
was always identified on the air as originating at the 
Club Hannover. 

The Dress Code 

NBC had a dress code for employees at Radio 



City. All men wore conservative business suits, white 
shirts, and neckties. A few men wore bow ties. Men 
were allowed to remove their jackets and work in 
shirt sleeves. Transmitter operators could wear 
slacks and shirts without neckties. Women wore 
suits or skirt and sweater combinations. They were 
not allowed to wear slacks. Short skirts, revealing 
necklines, gaudy jewelry, or garish colors were 
frowned upon. 

Old time announcers said that, until about 1938, 
NBC required them to wear tuxedos at all times 
when working even when they were not visible to the 
public. At one time, NBC required announcers to 
have college degrees. Any old degree would do. This 
led to a large variety of disciplines being 
represented. 

Announcer Bud Heyde was a music major. He 
planned to make a career as a theater organist. By 
the time he graduated from college, talking pictures 
had replaced most theater organists, so Heyde 
became a radio announcer instead. 

A lot of gray hair was seen at KNBC. In part this 
was because network owned stations were at the top 
of the food chain in broadcasting. Employees had to 
work their way up through the business to get hired. 
New hires were older than at most stations. Pay was 
good. Very few staff members left. 

San Francisco was the end of line for many 
broadcast careers in those days. The only career 
step up was to Hollywood or New York. Who would 
want to work in those shark-infested waters or live in 
either city? 

Engineers had no incentive to leave. They worked 
under a nation-wide union contract. Engineers at 
KNBC were paid exactly the same salary as at 
WNBCinNewYork. 

At the beginning of 1950 NABET union scale for a 
Group 2 engineer at NBC was $1 21 .38 per week. 
Basic studio and transmitter engineers were 
classified as Group 2. Group 6 working supervisors 
earned $144.23 per week. These were very good 
wages at the time. 

A minimum wage job paid $20 per week. Most 
office secretarial or clerical jobs paid $30 to $40 per 
week. Blue collar jobs typically paid from $60 to $80 
per week. An announcer who worked at KSFO 
remembers being paid $89 per week - AFTRA scale 
at about this same time. 

Announcers at KNBC were paid the highest staff 
announcer union scale in San Francisco. In addition 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



24 



they got board fees. Every time they read a 
commercial, they received a talent fee. Network 
feeds also brought extra pay. They were happy to 
remain at KNBC. Most had been there for a long 
time. 

Announcers at KNBC probably took home about 
twice what the engineers were paid. Base pay was 
similar to engineers. Several announcers told me 
that they made more money from board fees than 
from base pay. This starts to get into the region of 
show biz salaries where publicized figures need to 
be multiplied by a correction factor of .1 to .5 to get 
the actual number. 

To put these salaries into perspective, in 1950 a 
streetcar fare in San Francisco was ten cents, a fast 
food hamburger cost nineteen cents, a new 
Chevrolet cost around $2,000, and if you wanted to 
make a statement with your automobile you could 
drive home in a new Cadillac for about $3,500. 
Several subdivisions on the San Francisco Peninsula 
advertised new three bedroom houses with prices 
starting well under $20,000. 

KNBC saw major staff reductions in all 
departments starting in the 1950's. Union contracts 
required layoffs to be in order of inverse seniority. 
The last hired was the first fired. Although this was 
not required with non-union employees, the same 
policy usually was followed. The result was that 
many employees at Radio City were middle-aged or 
older. 

Today even in major markets many radio station 
employees are young. The industry eats its young by 
burning them out. The broadcast industry is very 
different from the way it was when KGO and KNBC 
shared Radio City. 



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The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



25 



Flash Gordon: A Review 

Hank Harwell 

This series had such great promise. I am deeply 
aware that it was a series aimed at a much younger 
audience, and was intended to supplement the 
comic strip that ran in the Hearst-published 
newspapers at the time. 

It began well, with the hero, Flash, and his love 
interest, Dale Arden, and their eccentric-but-brilliant 
scientist friend, Dr. Hans Zarkov crash-landing on 
Mongo, the planet ruled by Ming the Merciless. Ming, 
using his alien technology, had brought Mongo close 
to earth for conquest. Flash, Dale and Zarkov 
traveled there to find a way to stop Mongo (and 
unbeknownst to them at the time, Ming) 

There, the trio meet all of the colorful alien 
characters that has made Flash Gordon such a 
perennial favorite among sci-fi buffs. The adventures 
zip along for nearly half of the series (which can be 
found at the Internet Archive site) . Perhaps the best 
arc involved Flash's encounter with the Hawkmen, 
and how he forged his friendship with Vultan, king of 
the Hawkmen. 

But then, as Flash is systematically working his 
way to take possession of the territories that Ming 
challenges him to conquer, it all starts to bog down. 
The pace begins to really drag during the trio's 
struggles against Queen Azura and the Blue Magic 
People. The interminably slow pace made me 
wonder why any youngster would keep up with the 
series. 

In addition, I found myself becoming more and 
more annoyed with the Dale Arden character. She 
must have had some major insecurity issues! She 
would vacillate from proclaiming her undying faith in 
and love for Flash, and then when another female 
character makes advances to him, Dale decides he 
must be more interested in the rival and begins to 
pout. It's cute ... at first. Then it begins to become 
wearisome. 

It's interesting that the last handful of episodes 
feature a 'miraculous' return to earth and encounter 
with Jungle Jim, another Hearst comic character, 
and a transition as The Adventures of Flash Gordon 
morphs into The Adventures of Jungle Jim. I was so 
ready for the conclusion of this series. 





Imaging 
STRANGE WORLD ADVtHWMS! 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



26 



An Old Time Radio Show 

Guaranteed to Let You "Escape" 

From the Daily Grind 

Ned Norris 

In the Golden Days of Radio, back in the 1930s to 
the 1950s, most popular radio series had a set time 
for going out each week. Occasionally there might be 
a change in the schedule, but on the whole a 
consistent time-slot was something that helped build 
a large audience and so was something the big 
networks aimed to achieve. 

One noticeable exception to the above rule was a 
wonderful dramatic adventure anthology series 
called Escape, whose time-slot shifted eighteen 
times in its seven-year run from 1947-54. To make 
matters even worse it had a habit of coming and 
going and sometimes disappearing off the schedules 
altogether at short notice for weeks on end only to 
resurface weeks later in a completely different 
timeslot. 

The fragrant disregard CBS paid to building a 
regular timeslot and audience for Escape could 
make you think that it was a mediocre show that was 
only good as lightweight filler for when the regular 
show was off-the-air, such as during the quiet 
summer months. In my opinion, and that of many old 
radio aficionados, this couldn't be further from the 
truth. Escape is probably the best adventure 
anthology ever broadcast. 

For me, Escape is everything that was good 
about old-time radio drama rolled into one. The title 
itself almost sums up the very essence of what radio 
drama is all about. Each and every episode was a 
micro drama carefully planned to capture the 
listener's attention for thirty minutes. There were 
over two-hundred episodes made and almost every 
one is as good today as it was half a century ago. 
For the first few years the opening announcement 
varied on an almost weekly basis, but by the 1 950s it 
had become the now famous: 

Tired of the everyday grind? 

Ever dream of a life of romantic adventure? 

Want to get away from it all? 

We offer you ... ESCAPE! 

This may give the wrong impression as Escape 
was far more than a swashbuckling adventure yarn. 

The Old Radio Times * December 2008 



It was a superbly scripted, brilliantly produced series 
that brought to the radio adaptations of classic 
stories by famous writers as well as new work by 
unknown talent. Many of the stories were later 
reused by more high profile shows such as 
Suspense, but on the whole the Escape versions 
were of equal quality and sometimes more 
dramatically focused and atmospheric. 

When Radio Life wrote "These stories all possess 
many times the reality that most radio writing 
conveys" it hit the nail on the head. This is a quality 
show in every way. 

If you've never given this tremendous series a 
chance it's well worth tracking down. Whether you 
listen in the car on your daily commute, whilst doing 
the housework, relaxing in your favorite easy-chair, 
or snuggled up in bed - you really will be thrilled! 

Ned Norris is the webmaster of www.rusc.com. 




Number 37 



27 



Archives of the Airwaves (7 
Volumes) 

By Roger C. Paulson 

Publisher - BearManor Media 

Price -$135.00 

Reviewed by Jim Beshires 

Archives of the Airwaves is a seven volume set of 
paperback books, with each book addressing radio 
programs and stars beginning with a particular letter 
of the alphabet. For instance, Volume One covers 
the letters 'A thru C, and is 323 pages long. There 
is no index, which makes it a bit difficult to locate 
subjects. After getting frustrated in looking in several 
books to find items, my solution to this problem was 
to tape a small piece of paper to each spine listing 
the letters the book covered. 

According to the publisher, this set has been 
twenty years in the making, and proposes to be the 
most complete old-time radio encyclopedia ever 
written. It does have a good amount of both series 
and stars that I was not familiar with, and my career 
in old time radio goes back to the early 60s. I was 
glad to see this coverage of so many obscure shows. 

In its format it's very similar to Dunning's 'On The 
Air', in that it attempts to give a synopsis of the 
series, network affiliation, broadcast dates and times. 
It also lists sponsors. 

Most synopsis' are short - a paragraph or two, 
three at the most, so it obviously does not go into the 
depth of descriptions as some other reference books 
do, and it does contain a fair amount of mis- 
information, most that only a serious researcher 
would catch, and I have heard from some highly 
respected OTR people on this subject of the errors. 
Some of them feel the set contains too many. But 
nearly all other reference books contain some errors, 
as reference sources are constantly being revised, 
updated, or new ones being discovered. 
Researching old time radio is not an easy job, and 
that's why it's very important to cross-check 
everything. 

The set boasts that it's at least seven times the 
size of Dunning's book, but this is a real 
exaggeration. It more likely is twice the size, but 
remember, Dunning's book does not include bios of 
radio stars, and Archives does. The bios are fairly 
complete, with birth dates, death deaths, and credit 



lists included. 

It is certainly the most comprehensive set ever 
attempted. 

The set can be purchased from BearManor Media 
for $135.00, but also can be found in many major 
book stores and also online. Individual volumes can 
be purchased for around $21 .95 each. 

Should you purchase them? The price would 
deter most collectors, but I believe that it would be a 
good addition to any serious researcher's reference 
set, despite some of its mistakes. Many libraries 
may be interested in having this set, so you might 
want to inquire into this possibility with your library. 

Would I recommend it? Certainly I'm glad to have 
it to add to my reference library. It provides another 
tool when I'm researching a series, and we need all 
the help we can get. I'd also be very interested in 
hearing from others who've purchased this set as to 
what they think of it. 




The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



28 



OTRR Certifies Police 
Headquarters 

The Old Time Radio Researchers Organization 
announced today that work was complete on Police 
Headquarters. 

"Bruce Eells Associates produced this 15-minute 
series that was then an early syndication, via 
Broadcasters Program Syndicate/Bruce Eells and 
Associates syndication. As was usual then, music 
filled the first part of the show, so that the local 
station announcer could do a commercial or two. So 
the writer and actors were left with a 12 1/2-minute 
mystery. 

"The IOU Murder" spins the tale of a mansion 
murder in which the shot is not suicide. "Paid in Full" 
is a plot twister in which the guilty is known, but can't 
be pinned with the crime. In the "Stolen Brain" a 
professor's body has been has "gone missing" and 
the brain is held for $35,000 ransom. That's a lot of 
money even today for a mass of "little grey cells." In 
another, Mrs. North is found bound and gagged by a 
dead man in her bedroom. A woman is pushed out 
from a speeding roadster owned by an Italian with an 
airtight alibi, but the dead dame has twin brothers 
who swear vengeance on him anyway. An overdose 
of cocaine kills a recluse who hasn't left his room in 
20 years. A crook cashes a check from a Count who 
may be a no-count. A boxer is permanently KO'd 
after a big fight, but the cops finger one of three men 
taking a shower as the killer. Pretty aggressive stuff 
for 1932! 

The shows have very few wrinkles for a 70-year- 
old (they sound pretty darn good). Twists and turns 
in plot are as many as the minutes allow. These are 
fun to hear! 

There isn't much information on who did the 
acting. But radio in 1932 was still in its beginnings as 
a national pastime. This show is a great example of 
those still early days of radio, when the concept of 
syndication was still in its infancy. The networks 
refused to use pre-recorded disks until after WWII! 
This organization was recording a show on acetate 
disks and then sending copies out (carefully, as they 
could break!) to customer stations across America. It 
was, for that era, very sophisticated media 
merchandising! 

These early shows of the police weren't fact 
based, but just good old crime drama." (Jon- 



www.otrcat.com ) 
OTRR CERTIFIED 
POLICE HEADQUARTERS 
Version One 

The Old Time Radio Researchers Group on Yahoo - 
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OldTimeRadioResear 
chersGroup/ and located on the web at www.otrr.org 
has certified this series. The Series Researchers, 
Log Researchers and Database compilers of the Old 
Time Radio Researchers (OTRR) Group have 
thoroughly researched this Old Time Radio Series, 
utilizing information found on the Internet, books 
published on this series and old time radio in 
general. They have determined that as of 
NOVEMBER 28, 2008, this series is as complete as 
possible, with the most current information included 
as to broadcast dates, episode numbers, episode 
titles, number of episodes broadcast, and best 
encodes at the time of Certification. Each file has 
been named in accordance with the Uniform Naming 
Code as based on the OTR Database to be found at 
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Otr-Proiect/ The Old 
Time Radio Researchers Group now declares this 
series to be CERTIFIED COMPLETE. There is ONE 
CD in this release, which represents the most up-to- 
date and accurate version endorsed by the OTRR. In 
order to ensure that only the best possible version of 
this series is in circulation, we recommend that all 
prior OTRR versions be discarded. As always, it is 
possible that more information will surface which will 
show that some of our conclusions were wrong. 
Please e-mail us at (beshiresjim@yahoo.com), or 
post your corrections at 

http://www.otrr.org/pmwiki/Misc/Releaselssues and 
let us know if any corrections are required. Also, if 
you have any better encodes of the series, or 
additional episodes, please let us know so that we 
can include them with the next release of the 
Certified Series. 

The Old Time Radio Researchers Group would like 
to thank the following people who helped on this 
series - 

Series Coordinator - Jim Beshires 
Quality Listener(s) - Ernie Cosgrove, Alicia Williams, 
Terry Caswell 

Series Synopsis - Terry Caswell 
Sound Upgrades - Jim Beshires 
Missing Episodes - n/a 
Audio Briefs Announcer(s) - Sue Sieger 
Audio Briefs Compiler(s) - Sue Sieger 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



29 



Pictures, other extras - Jon- www.otrcat.com 

Artwork - Brian Allen 

Stars Bios - n/a 

File corrections - n/a 

And all the members and friends of the OTRR for 

their contributions of time, knowledge, funds, and 

other support. This series will shortly go into 

distribution by the organization and other old time 

radio clubs. It will also appear on archive.org in the 

future. 



Police 
Rea4quarter! 




This series consists of 15— minute shows 

that weren't fact based, but are just good 

old crime drama. Unlike many- of the 

syndicated series of the p eriod, 

each, show is a complete story-. 




The History of WMAQ Radio 

Chapter 1 
Tom Gootee 

The history of WMAQ, Chicago's first radio 
station, so clearly parallels the history of radio 
broadcasting that it reads like a chronicle of many 
trials, tribulations, failures and successes that beset 
the first broadcasters, who were unknowingly laying 
the foundation for a great new industry: radio. It is a 
far cry from the early twenties to present day 
broadcasting. 

No industry has ever moved so quickly, so 
efficiently, to the high state of perfection that 
broadcasting enjoys today. It is difficult for most of us 
who have lived and worked through this change to 
fully comprehend the historical and sociological 
significance of our progress. Yet all this happened 
within a span of less than twenty years, two amazing 
decades. 

It is hard to say exactly when broadcasting first 
began, Before the First World War there were a few 
thousand radio amateurs, most of them boys and 
young men, who tinkered occasionally with spark 
sets and established purely local telegraphic 
communication. 

During the War, however, the radio art underwent 
the first of its many radical changes. The army 
became interested in radio as a means of field 
communication and experimentation began on a 
more important scale. The vacuum tube was 
developed and used with some fair success, and this 
opened the path for many new circuits never 
possible before. Many of the radio amateurs 
received further training from the Government and, in 
addition to serving their country both here and 
abroad, they gained a great deal of practical 
experience in radio communication. 

After the War was over there were well over 
twenty thousand men in this country with a technical 
working knowledge of radio. Some of these found 
immediate employment as ship or land commercial 
operators. But a much greater number returned to 
their former employment and looked upon radio - 
specifically amateur radio - as just an interesting 
hobby. 

The ban on amateur activity was lifted in the 
summer of 1919, and new ham stations using new 
equipment began to appear, various scattered from 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



30 



50 to 250 meters. They were still primarily interested 
in radio telegraphy, because telephony was too new 
and much two expensive for experimentation. 
Vacuum tubes could neither be bought nor 
manufactured except by the Government due to 
frozen patent rights held by competing companies. 

In spite of these adverse conditions, many 
amateurs went ahead with radio telephonic 
experimentation. The priceless "E" tubes, "OG" tubes 
and others were occasionally obtained by some 
amateurs, usually "from a friend in the Coast Guard", 
or other slightly illegal sources. The many difficulties 
blocking the paths of the early radio amateurs in their 
experimentation did little to shake their enthusiasm. 
By the winter of 1 91 9, there were many amateurs on 
the air actually talking. And from that time Morse 
code was destined to take a back seat in radio, to be 
used principally for communication. 

Not satisfied with merely talking to other local 
amateurs (and, incidentally not being tied down by 
any federal regulations) the hams soon conceived 
the idea of broadcasting entertainment. And so, 
using their home-made rigs and makeshift 
equipment, they began transmitting programs to their 
friends and to the public. 

This condition was particularly so in the Chicago 
area, where a great many amateurs resided within a 
comparitively small area. One of the largest of these 
stations was owned by Austin A. Edward, an 
influential ham who not only had the best equipment 
available but also constructed a small studio in his 
home. Other well known stations in this same vicinity 
were operated by Thorne Donnelly, Arthur Leonard, 
Jr. and even our own Larry Dutton (NBC, Chicago). 
All through the sping of 1920 interest in amateur 
radio broadcasting continued on the gradual 
increase. Hams gladly built and sold small crystal 
receiving sets for their neighbors and friends, but 
there were relatively few people who knew - or even 
cared - about the possibilities of radio. 

Then a remarkable thing happened and radio 
underwent another radical change. A Pittsburgh 
engineer, Frank Conrad, had spent most of the 
spring developing and perfecting a radio-telephone 
transmitter in the Westinghouse Laboratories at East 
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was assigned an 
experimental call by the government, and began 
transmitting speech and test programs late in the 
spring. Only a few amateurs with receiving sets 
heard his programs. Then others began to listen. 



Soon Dr. Conrad had an enthusiastic following of 
listeners, and he began a more-or-less regular 
experimental schedule. 

Late in the spring of 1920, Pittsburgh department 
stores advertised and quickly sold "receiving 
apparatus for listening to Doctor Conrad"s radio 
programs". The general public was finally becoming 
conscious of radio broadcasting. Every program, no 
matter how irregular, was assured of a large 
audience. And the Westinghouse Electric Company 
began to take an interest in the possibility of 
broadcasting. 

With the 1920 fall election approaching, the 
Westinghouse Electric Company conceived the idea 
of broadcasting the election returns. Accordingly, a 
large studio was built and equipped with the latest 
carbon microphones, and the original transmitter was 
overhauled, further adjusearer the studio. A new call 
was assigned to the station: KDKA, indicating that 
the transmitter was no longer considered 
experimental equipment. There was a line installed 
between the new studio and the offices of the 
Pittsburgh Post, and the election results were 
broadcast throughout the evening. The broadcasting 
idea was an instant success and drew nationwide 
attention to KDKA. A new industry was being born. 

KDKA continued to operate on regular schedules 
for a few hours a day and almost immediately the 
way was cleared for other radio stations in other 
locations to erect and operate broadcasting 
equipment. Radio patents held by the General 
Electric Company, the Western Electric Company, 
the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, 
and the newly formed Radio Corporation of America 
were pooled together and arrangements were 
completed for the construction of radio tubes, radio 
equipment, and complete broadcast transmitters for 
sale to private individuals and the government. 

The Westinghouse Company itself was not slow 
to realize the immense possibilities of broadcasting, 
and got to work developing and constructing 
transmission equipment. In September, 1921, there 
was a grand total of four stations in the United 
States, and a fifth was put on the air in October. But 
it was not until November of that year that Chicago 
welcomed its first radio station. 

This article was originally published at 
http://www. richsamuels. com/nbcmm/wmaq/history/ 
and reprinted here by permission. 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



31 



You Can't Do Business With Hitler 

The Old Time Radio Researchers announces the 
re-certification of You Can't Do Business With Hitler, 
a series of radio shows, written and produced by the 
radio section of the Office of War Information (OWI), 
was transcribed four times a month. The series was 
re-certified November 15, 2008 

Elwood Hoffman wrote the scripts, and Frank 
Telford directed the production. 

This series is one of the many thousands of 
government propaganda plays that were broadcast 
to help the war effort during World War II. 

The series was based on the experiences of 
Douglas Miller who was for 15 years commercial 
attache to the American Embassy in Berlin. Douglas 
Miller revealed the NAZI technique of plundering and 
looting conquered lands. 

This re-certification features a number of added 
features, one of which is the 1 942 movie "Hitler - 
Dead or Alive." Critics say this movie is so bad that 
it's good! Ward Bond stars as the leader of a team of 
ex-con bounty hunters who go to Germany in search 
of Hitler. If they can find him, a million dollar reward 
is to be paid to them. Other upgrades include many 
more WW2 newspaper ads from companies 
supporting the war effort and a short radio series 
from 1942 called Dear Adolf. 

OTRR CERTIFIED YOU CAN'T DO BUSINESS 
WITH HITLER VERSION TWO 

The Old Time Radio Researchers Group on 
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OldTimeRadioResear 
chersGroups and located on the web at 
www.otrr.org. 

The Series Researchers, Log Researchers and 
Database compilers of the Old Time Radio 
Researchers (OTRR) Group have thoroughly 
researched this Old Time Radio Series, utilizing 
information found on the Internet, books published 
on this series and old time radio in general. They 
have determined that as of NOVEMBER 15, 2008, 
this series is as complete as possible, with the most 
current information included as to broadcast dates, 
episode numbers, episode titles, number of episodes 
broadcast, and best encodes at the time of 
Certification. 

Each file has been named in accordance with the 
Uniform Naming Code as based on the OTR 



Database to be found at - 
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Otr-Project/ 

The Old Time Radio Researchers Group now 
declares this series to be CERTIFIED ACCURATE. 
There ONE CD in this release, which represents the 
most up-to-date and accurate version endorsed by 
the OTRR. In order to ensure that only the best 
possible version of this series is in circulation, we 
recommend that all prior OTRR versions be 
discarded. Additional series synopsis were added, a 
related series Dear Adolf was added, and many 
WW2-related photos were added 

As always, it is possible that more information will 
surface which will show that some of our conclusions 
were wrong. Please e-mail us at 
(beshiresjim@yahoo.com) and let us know if any 
corrections are required. Also, if you have any better 
encodes of the series, or additional episodes, please 
let us know so that we can include them with the 
next release of the Certified Series. 

The OTRR would like to thank the following 
people who helped on this series - 
Series Coordinator - Roger Hohenbrink, Doug 
Hopkinson 

Quality Listener(s) - Doug Hopkinson 
Series Synopsis - Doug Hopkinson 
Sound Upgrades - n/a 
Missing Episodes - n/a 

Audio Briefs Announcer(s) - Fred Bertlesen, Doug 
Hopkinson 

Audio Briefs Compiler(s) - Doug Hopkinson 
Pictures, other extras - Terry Caswell 
Artwork - Roger Hohenbrink 
Stars Bios - n/a 

And all the members of the OTRR for their 
contributions of time, knowledge, funds, and other 
support. 

This series will shortly be available from the 
OTRR Distribution Center, sister old time radio clubs 
and groups, and eventually from www.archive.org . 




The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



32 



This Day in Network Radio 

By Jim Cox 
Reviewed by Ryan Ellett 

Jim Cox's latest book, This Day in Network Radio, 
hits the market just in time for Christmas and let me 
assure you this book is a perfect stocking stuffer for 
the old time radio fan in your life. 

This Day is a step out of line with Mr. Cox's other 
works which focus on a single series {Mr. Keen), a 
single genre (like his previous book Sold on Radio), 
or a single aspect {Frank and Anne Hummert's 
Radio Factory) of old time radio. Instead the book 
gives the reader day-by-day old time radio highlights 
including births, deaths, debuts, and cancellations. 

This effort is a fun compilation of so much 
information that Mr. Cox has given us in past works 
and other new information that surely was compiled 
during his research but did not sneak into those 
works. As we've come to expect from the jovial pen- 
weilder, Mr. Cox focuses not only on the well-known 
actors, actresses, and series of radio's Golden Age 
but he delves into the nooks and crannies of the 
field, spotlighting the lesser-known series and 
behind-the-scenes men and women who made the 
industry hum. 

The first question that comes to mind in reviewing 
the book is why didn't somebody do this earlier? 

At $50 it's a bit pricey, especially for a paperback 
and one that checks in at 235 pages, short by Mr. 
Cox's standards. If one is still missing some of the 
author's previous works I would recommend sinking 
the money into one of those as they only sell for an 
extra five or ten dollars. If your lucky and have a 
complete Jim Cox library you won't regret adding this 
volume to your shelf. 

I plan to leave this book on a shelf in my water 
closet and read daily entries during my morning 
visits. The next best thing to starting one's day with 
an OTR recording is starting one's day by reading 
about OTR. 

This Day in Network Radio is published by Mcfarland 
( www.mcfarlandpub.com ) and can be ordered by 
calling 1-800-253-2187. It is likely available at 
Amazon.com and other online book sources. 



This Day in 
Network Radio 




A f}/iify t.iih'n/iny of 'RirTfjSy Ueatfif t I)ebuts t 
Cancellations and Other Events in Broadcasting History 




Jim Cox is the award-winning author of numberous 
books on broadcasting history, including Sold on 
Radio (2008), Radio Speakers (2006), The Daytime 
Serials of Television, 1946-1960 (2006), Music Radio 
(2005), Frank and Anne Hummert's Radio Factory 
(2003), Radio Crime Fighters (2002), and The Great 
Radio Audience Participation Shows (2001 ), all from 
McFarland. He is a retired college professor living in 
Louisville, Kentucky. 




The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



33 



The Final Radio Years 

Excerpts from Bing Crosby — The Radio 

Directories (out of print) 

compiled by Lionel Pairpoint 

reprinted by permission 

During the summer of 1954 with radio audiences 
everywhere declining dramatically, Bing Crosby 
decided not to continue with a major weekly radio 
show involving the expense of guest stars and a 22 
piece orchestra. In a letter to John Scott Trotter 
dated 9th September 1954, he said: 

"....I of course, John, feel pretty sad about not 
going back on the radio there this season. I have 
given many reasons for this decision to many 
different people, but I feel I can tell you the truth and 
that you will believe and understand me. John I don't 
sing anywhere near as good as I used to, and I feel 
sincerely that it's getting worse. I don't see any 
purpose in trying to stretch something out that was 
once acceptable and that now is merely adequate, if 
that. I don't know what the reason for this condition 
is, unless it's apathy. I just don't have the interest in 
singing. I am not keen about it any more. Songs all 
sound alike to me and some of them so shoddy and 
trivial. I don't mean I didn't sing some cheap songs 
and bad songs in the old days, but I had such a 
tremendous interest in singing and was so wrapped 
up in the work that it didn't matter. I don't know how 
to diagnose the condition, but it seems to me that 
possibly this apathy, this lack of desire, when I have 
to go to a recording session, transmits itself into 
nervous exhaustion and fatigue. 

"This must all sound very vague to you, but it's 
the best I can do, and at least I assure you that I am 
very sincere in what I am trying to describe. The 
sycophants that hang about, the press, the 
photographers, the song publishers and pluggers 
and the pests of all descriptions that grab me 
everytime I step outside my front door, weary me 
indescribably. Succinctly, John, I seem to have had 
it. 

"Maybe a year or so away will make me feel 
differently, and my interest will revive. I certainly hate 
to see the wonderful organisation we have break up, 
and it gives me a wrench to be an instrument in its 
dissolution. I shall never forget all the good years 
you and I had together, and all the wonderful 
unselfish things you did for me and my interests. You 



had a great deal to put up with at times, and your 
patience and forbearance was always incredible. 
You must know how grateful I am to you for 
everything that you have done. And I don't mean just 
professionally either. Much of the same goes to 
Murdo. There's a great boy, and I think the radio 
industry should prepare some sort of a plaque or 
citation for him for just putting up with Morrow 
through the years, if putting up with me wasn't 
enough " 

Within a month or two however, Bing was 
persuaded to continue in radio, albeit in a different 
and cheaper format. On November 22nd 1954 The 
Bing Crosby Show emerged on CBS at 9:00 p.m. 
preceding Amos TV Andy. The show was broadcast 
daily Mondays to Fridays and was of 15 minutes 
duration with Bing talking about all manner of 
different subjects and usually including three songs 
around the dialogue. Bill Morrow provided a script of 
sorts, Ken Carpenter was the announcer, and Murdo 
MacKenzie edited it all together using songs that 
Bing had pre -recorded at sessions with Buddy Cole 
and his trio (Buddy on piano and electric organ, 
Perry Botkin [later replaced by Vince Terri] on guitar, 
banjo etc., Don Whittaker on bass, Nick Fatool on 
drums). Commercial recordings and songs utilised in 
the earlier General Electric series were employed as 
were guest appearances of his sons, primarily 
Lindsay. The show ran until December 31 st , 1956, 
without a break. Sponsorship was intermittent with 
Lanolin Plus Liquid, New Coffee Flavour Instant 
Postum, and Philip Morris advertising in some 
shows. Initially Bing used "Moonlight Becomes You" 
as his theme tune before switching to "Something In 
Common." 

The audience rating was 3.1 for 1954-55 which 
earned the programme fourteenth position in the 
Nielsen ratings. Jack Benny's show was in top 
position with 5.8. In 1955-56, the audience rating 
was 2.2 which placed the programme in tenth 
position in the Nielsen ratings of evening programs. 
Our Miss Brooks (starring Eve Arden) was in top 
position with 4.3. 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



34 



News From the Community 

Conventions 
Cinefest 2009 - March 2009. For more information, 
contact Robert Oliver - 

ROLIVER9@twcny.rr.com?Subiect=Cinefest2008 
Cincinnati's 23rd Annual Nostalgia and Old Time 
Radio Convention - April 24-25, 2009, Crowne 
Plaza, 1 191 1 Sheraton Lane, Cincinnati, OH 45246. 
For more information, contact Bob Burchett, (888) 
477-91 1 2 or e-mail to: haradio@hotmail.com . 
20th Annual Radio Classics Live! - May 2, 2009. 
Buckley Performing Arts Center, Massasoit 
Community College, Brockton, MA. Contact Bob 
Bowers (508) 758-4865, or e-mail 
bobowers@version.net for more information. 
MidAtlantic Nostalgia Convention - Aug 27-29, 
2009 



I RADIO RARITIES Wjfa&Z 



0ss^ 

i/P** THAT'S WHY PEOPLE 
' MARRY, ACCORD I NC TO A 
SURVEY OF 18,000 APPLICANTS 

made By John J. Anthony, 

CONDUCTOR OF THE BLUB 

NETWORK'S 'good WILL - 

HOUR*/ 





00** 



BLUE NETWORK VOCALIST.' 
ALTHOUGH BORN 
IN FALL RIVER, 
COULDNT 
SPEAKAWORP. 
. . ENGLISH UNTIL 
SHE WAS TWELVE/ 
SHE WAS SCHOOLED 
>' \ATA FRENCH CONVENT 
IjLir ^jNJKUHS/' 



MOTORISTS OF THE FUTURE 
WONT BE ABLE TO AUB I, - 
•l WONT SEE THAT LIGHT*. 
*... TRAFFIC L1SKTS WILL BE 
ROADSIDE TRANSMITTERS, 
FLASHING OIRECTLV TO THE 
DASH BOARD/ 




Wistful Vistas 

Ryan Ellett 

The last year or so I've been trying to keep our 
monthly issues to roughly 20 pages or so due to 
personal time restraints. We had so much good stuff 
in our hands, however, that instead of parseling it out 
over a couple issues we decided to give you an early 
Christmas present with an issue bursting at the 
seams. 

Our staff is very excited to feature the first 
contribution by Martin Grams, Jr., prominent old time 
radio historian and author. While new to our pages, 
he's no stranger to the hobby. 

We're also tickled to follow Martin's piece up with 
another effort by the esteemed Jim Cox, no slouch in 
the historian/author category himself. This month he 
sheds some light on ABC founder Ed Noble, a 
frequently overlooked personality in old time radio. 

The rest of the issue is jam-packed as you've 
discovered by now; there's really too much to 
spotlight here. If you can't find something of interest 
in this month's effort then you probably don't have a 
pulse. 

Don't fear that we're cleaning out the vaults with 
this year-end ball! We have so much material piling 
up that we're filling issues into next summer, much of 
it by authors we've featured in the last couple 
months. 

We're trying a new font this month to address 
concerns some readers have had about readability. 
Let us know yay or nay if it enhances your reading 
pleasure. While I'm limited in the amount of layout 
design and graphics used every month, I'm open to 
suggestions that would spruce up these pages. 

Enjoy the holidays and we'll tune in together next 
month as we welcome 2009. Happy listening and 
good health to all! 

November Contributors 



Jim Beshires * Bob Cox * Jim Cox * Ryan Ellett * 

Tom Gootee * Martin Grams * Hank Harwell * Fred 

Krock * Ned Norris * Lionel Pairpoint 

Edited by Ryan Ellett 
Distributed by Jim Beshires 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



35 





penny 



Bob Hastings 

Archie Andrews, 
McHale's Navy 

Rosemary 
Rice 

Archie Andrews 
I Remember Mama 

Esther 
Geddes 

Talk of The Town 



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Toll Free 888.477.9112 haradio@msn.com 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



36 







The Story ofTwenty Que stions The Eternal Light 

by Robert Van D even ter by Eli Segal 



Fibbe r McG ee and Mol fy 

by GairSchuIz 



Fibber McCee's Scrapbook 

by Clair Schub 



Bill Liaisons 

'tfi-itirg Class 

b uriptirL tlH( aurrLaulia 



■d,-, Sill I4«lS>4D 



ltn«li<».TV. 

MOTHER 

E A R T H 

fiSfi /I"T1 Veneris! oTi mujimrt Lift 




Bill Idel son's Writing Class 

by Bill Idelson 




Foncwonuoy RoacR Coihan 



Don't Wear Silver in the Winter The Lucky Strike Papers 

byjanet CantorGari byAndrew Lee Felding 



Radio, TV, Mother Earth & Me 

byjoel R.app 



Bear Manor Media 

PO Box 71426 
Albany, GA 31708 

www.Bearmanormedia.com 

Join our mailing list for news & coupons! 

http://groups.google.com/group/bearmanor 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



37 



Narrators, News Junkies, Sports 

locket'*, 'I'^iiUiLilf*. I l|jj,lii> l 

T ^' ii *"fci4sief-i ,i[L[l OvRVl: Kliiuli 

V'Lfbaiij , til ilit 
Jargrm of tin- 

SlCr Au?a] t.ikc-f Fm>m 
ilit I l )2(.ia Li i [Kl- 



lim Cox. 2007, S-5j hardcover 
(7 x 10), appendix , bibliography, 
index, ISBN 97S-0-7S64-27BO-2, 




lim Cox. 2004, J65. hardtover (7 x 10), 
photo^ fibres, chronology, bibliography^ 
hide*. 1SRN 978-0-7864- 1 738^. 




j: I Cui. 2t*12, SSM.f; >i>:innvr, 
phctos, appendix, nytcs, bibliography, 
index, ISBN 978-G-7W4-11W-9, 



4 6 - 1 y 6 (J 



The DAYTIME 

SERIALS Of 

TELEVISION 




Jim Cm 



Jim Cox. 200*. 349,95 tudtwur [7 x 1 13>. 
photos, appendices, notes* bdhLiogfapby, 

index, ISBN 97&- 0-7864- 24 29-0. 



FRANK and ANNE 
HLIMMERT's 
RADIO FACTORY— 




jxm 


Jim Cot 



)im Cus. 2003, 1,15 sullcuver, phulos, 
appendices, notes, bibliography, index, 
[SBN97M-7W4-1631-8. 






Jim Cox. 2005, J 55 hardcover 

{7 x 10), photoi, notes, bibliography, 

index, ISBN 978-0-7BM-2047-6. 




lim Cox, 20O2. 145 hardcover (7 X 10), 
photos, appendix, bibliography, indev, 
ISBK 978-0 7864 1390 4. 




Jim Qn, 1999,155 Iwrdtovet- (7 x 1(h), 

photliS, appendix, nOtcS, bibliography, 
in**, ISBN 97fi-0-78p4-05f»-,l, 



Jim Cox. 2001. 145 hardcover (7 X 10). 
photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, 
index, ISBN 978-0-7864-1071-2. 

McFarland 

Box 611 ' Jefferson NC 28640 • Orders 800-253-2187 • FAX 336-246-4403 • www.mcfarlandpub.com 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



38 



-NOW AVAILABLE— 

Supplement #3 

The 3rd Revised Ultimate History of 

Network Radio Programming and 
Guide to All Circulating Shows 

Written by Jay Hkkerson 
October, 2008 

Lists many changes and additions to network programming. 

Lists many new dated shows in circulation with the source of every show. 

Lists more theme songs 

Cost of Supplement #3: $5.00 plus $1.50 P&H 

Cost of Supplement #1, 2 and 3: $15 plus $2.50 P&H 
Cost of 2 Supplements; $10 plus $2.00 P&H 

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Cost of entire 540-page book with both Supplements: $58 

Please add $5 for postage and handling 

Jay Hickerson, 27436 Desert Rose Ct, Leesburg, Fl 34748 

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FAX 352-728-2405 
E-mail: Jayhick@aol.com 

The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 39 



And the 





Festival 



PRESENT 

A GATHERING OF GUNS 
A TV WESTERN REUNION 

June 4 6, 2009 

Whispering Woods Hotel and Conference Center 

Olive Brancth Mississippi fkist a wrick 20 minutes south of MemPlris) 

Confirmed Guests: 





Tv Hardin 


Deunv Miller 


Robert Horton 


Robert Fullei 


"Bronco" 
WC Columnist 


"Wagon Train" 


"Wagon Train" 
"Man Called Shenandoah" 


"Laramie" 
"Wagon Train" 




Will Hutchins 

"Sugai'foat" 
WC Columnist for 15 year? 



Jan Merlin 

"Rough Ridti v 



.James Drnry 
"The Virginian" 



Peter Brown 

"Lawman" 
"Laredo" 



Don Collier 

"The Outlaws" 
"High Chaparral" 



Many More to Come! 

Copies of virtually every TV western series ever produced will be shown on tape/WD or film! 

For continuing updated information as time progresses, go to <iMnv.westernclippings.com> and 

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PO Box 87, Conway, AR 72033 Albuquerque, NM 87123 

(501) 499-0444 email: rnielsencffalltel.net (505)292-0049 email: ridwest@comcast.net 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



40 



^DIGEST 



Vkuubtt MDh a^7? 



r Qld'RmeR adw K 

^DIGEST 



BUHMT2I1IE $32 




OldTime Radio 





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(DIGEST 



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Spring »XH*j?F 




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□ Enter my years(s) subscription at 

One year S 1 5 for 4 issues. 



Name 



Address- 



City. 



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— Zip 

I0280 Gunpowder Road Florence, KY4I042 
888.477.9112 haradio@msn.com 

The Old Radio Times 



24 years ago we gave the 
first issue free in hopes 
you would support a new 
ORT publication, and we're 
glad many of you did over 
the years. 

To those who don't know 
about the Digest we are 
making the same offer 
again. Use the handy 
coupon, and we will send 
you a free issue. You can 
use the same coupon to 
subscribe if you want. 

December 2008 * Number 37 



41 



OTRR Acquisitions and Upgrades 

The following is a list of newly acquired 
series/episodes. They may either be new to mp3 or 
better encodes. These were acquired by the Group 
during the month of September. These episodes 
were purchased by donations from members and 
friends of the Old Time Radio Researchers or 
donated by interested parties. 

If you have cassettes that you would like to 
donate, please e-mail beshiresiim@yahoo.com . For 
reel-to-reels, contact davidO@centurytel.net and for 
transcription disks tony senior@yahoo.com . 

#1 Ladies Detective Agency 04-09-10 (01) The 

Daddy.mp3 

#1 Ladies Detective Agency 04-09-17 (02) The 

Bone.mp3 

#1 Ladies Detective Agency 04-09-24 (03) The 

Maid.mp3 

#1 Ladies Detective Agency 04-10-01 (04) Tears Of 

The Giraffe. mp3 



Mean Murder.mp3 

Big Story, The 50-07-12 A Shotgun And A Fatal 

Accident.mp3 

Bobby Benson And The B Bar B Riders 51 -11-17 

Salute To A Soldier.mp3 

Bobby Benson And The B Bar B Riders 51-12-01 

The Queen Of The Cowgirls. mp3 

Bobby Benson And The B Bar B Riders 51-12-17 

The Lost Tribe. mp3 

Burns And Allen Show, The 45-05-24 (74).mp3 

COTY 51-1 1-06 (944) Forbidden Ground.mp3 
COTY 51 -1 1 -08 (945) Si Atkin's Gold.mp3 
COTY 51 -11-11 (946) The Forgetful Killer.mp3 

Casey, Crime Photographer 49-1 1 -1 7 The 
Upholsterer.mp3 

Cisco Kid, The 54-05-04 (187) Thirst.mp3 

Cisco Kid, The 58-02-1 1 (583) Murder At North San 

Juan.mp3 



#1 Ladies Detective Agency 05-08-30 (01 ) The Chief Cisco Kid, The 58-02-1 3 (584) Porfirio And The 



Justice Of Beauty.mp3 

#1 Ladies Detective Agency 05-09-06 (02) The 

Confession. mp3 

#1 Ladies Detective Agency 05-09-13 (03) The 

Kalahari Typing School For Men.mp3 

#1 Ladies Detective Agency 05-09-20 (04) The 

Admirer.mp3 



Bearded Lady.mp3 

Cisco Kid, The xx-xx-xx (697) Rescue In 

Matamoros.mp3 

Cisco Kid, The xx-xx-xx (698) Death Gun.mp3 



Club Fifteen xx-xx-xx (849). mp3 
Club Fifteen xx-xx-xx (850). mp3 
Club Fifteen xx-xx-xx (877). mp3 
Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet, The 50-1 1 -26 The Club Fifteen xx-xx-xx (878).mp3 



Ballet Tickets. mp3 

Alan Young Show, The 45-03-1 3. mp3 

Aldrich Family, The 40-03-05 (36) Mary's New 
Dress. mp3 

Amos And Andy Show 51-04-29 Cousin Sidney 

Visits. mp3 

Amos And Andy Show, The 45-01 -12 The Antique 

Desk.mp3 



Club Fifteen xx-xx-xx (Program) 912.mp3 

Dave Garroway xx-xx-xx (346). mp3 

Dimension X 50-05-13 Almost Human. mp3 

Edge Bergen And Charlie McCarthy Show xx-xx-xx 
(51).mp3 

FBI In Peace And War, The 49-1 1 -03 The Fourth 
Round. mp3 



Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts xx-xx-xx Joe E Brown Fifteen Minutes 45-xx-xx With Jack Bundy.mp3 
Substitutes. mp3 

Flair 61 -xx-xx (610).mp3 
Big Story, The 50-01 -04 The Sam Melnick Story.mp3 Flair 61 -xx-xx (61 1 ).mp3 
Big Story, The 50-01 -1 1 Gambling And Divorce Can 

The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 42 



Fullness Of Life 38-xx-xx (10) A City Beautiful. mp3 

Grand Ole Opry Time 51 -1 2-1 5 (1 95) Guest - Red 
Foley.mp3 

Greatest Story Ever Told, The - 48-06-06 Disputed 
Boundary.mp3 

Hour Of St Francis 49-xx-xx Patience Has A 

Story.mp3 

Hour Of St Francis 50-12-03 Night Call.mp3 

Hour Of St Francis 51-01-20 I'll Be Waiting.mp3 

Hour Of St Francis 51 -05-1 3 How Could This 

Happen. mp3 

Hour Of St Francis 51-05-20 Fifty Days.mp3 

Hour Of St Francis 51 -06-1 Is There Any 

Difference. mp3 

Hour Of St Francis 51 -06-1 7 Welcome Home 

Soldier.mp3 

Hour Of St Francis 52-04-27 Evening Star.mp3 

Hour Of St Francis 52-05-03 Baa, Baa Black 

Sheep. mp3 

Hour Of St Francis 52-xx-xx Greater Love Than 

This.mp3 

Kay Kyser's Kollege Of Musical Knowledge 44-04-23 

(96)AFRS.mp3 

Kay Kyser's Kollege Of Musical Knowledge 45-09-06 

(118)AFRS.mp3 

Last Man Out 53-1 2-06 Communist Teacher.mp3 

Lest We Forget 43-xx-xx (01) Youth Marches. mp3 

Lest We Forget 43-xx-xx (02) Education For 

Democracy (skips). mp3 

Lest We Forget xx-xx-xx (01 ) The Story Of Wendell 

Wilkie.mp3 

Lest We Forget xx-xx-xx (02) The Story of Joseph 

Goldberger.mp3 

Lest We Forget xx-xx-xx (03) The Story of Jane 

Addams.mp3 

Lest We Forget xx-xx-xx (04) The Story of Brandeis- 

Holmes.mp3 

Lest We Forget xx-xx-xx (05) The Story Of George 

Washington Carver.mp3 

Lest We Forget xx-xx-xx (06) The Story Of Al 

Smith. mp3 

Lest We Forget xx-xx-xx (07) The Story Of George 

W Norris.mp3 

Lest We Forget xx-xx-xx (08) The Story Of Joseph 



Pulitzer.mp3 

Lest We Forget xx- 

Lest We Forget xx- 

Boaz.mp3 

Lest We Forget xx- 

Lest We Forget xx- 

Gompers.mp3 

Lest We Forget xx- 

Doctor.mp3 

Lest We Forget xx- 

City.mp3 

Lest We Forget xx- 

Lest We Forget xx- 

Housewife.mp3 

Lest We Forget xx- 

Lest We Forget xx- 

Lest We Forget xx- 

Lest We Forget xx- 

Lest We Forget xx- 

Wilson.mp3 

Lest We Forget xx- 

One.mp3 



xx-xx 
xx-xx 

xx-xx 
xx-xx 

xx-xx 

xx-xx 

xx-xx 
xx-xx 



09) Arrow In The Air.mp3 

09) The Story Of Franz 

10) The Carolina Kid. mp3 

10) The Story Of Samuel 

1 1 ) A Party For The 

12) My Own, My Navtive 

3) The Bridge Builder.mp3 

4) Occupation- 



xx-xx (7) One Small Voice.mp3 
xx-xx (8) Chain Reaction. mp3 
xx-xx Blow That Whistle. mp3 
xx-xx Face To Face.mp3 
xx-xx The Story Of Woodrow 

xx-xx The Story of FDR - Part 



My Friend Irma 49-05-02 (108).mp3 
My Friend Irma 49-05-09 (109).mp3 

New Life Movement, The 47-xx-xx (01) Coming 

Alive. mp3 

New Life Movement, The 47-xx-xx (02) Creative 

Living. mp3 

New Life Movement, The 47-xx-xx (03) The Human 

Comedy.mp3 

New Life Movement, The 47-xx-xx (04) Your 

Allergies. mp3 

New Life Movement, The 47-xx-xx (05) The Hardest 

Decision. mp3 

New Life Movement, The 47-xx-xx (06) Life In The 

Open.mp3 

Personal Album xx-xx-xx (1577) Guest - Joe 

Graydon.mp3 

Personal Album xx-xx-xx (1578) Guest - Tony 

Parris.mp3 

Personal Album xx-xx-xx (53) Guest - The 

Kingsmen.mp3 

Personal Album xx-xx-xx (54) Guest - Shirley 

Ross.mp3 

Personal Album xx-xx-xx (61) Guest - Phil 

Regan. mp3 

Personal Album xx-xx-xx (62) Guest - Shirley 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



43 



Ross.mp3 

Personal Album xx-xx-xx (967) Guest - Josephine 

Rangan.mp3 

Personal Album xx-xx-xx (968) Guest - Eilieen 

Woods. mp3 

Red Grange Football Show 49-xx-xx (8) Great Stars 
Of 1950.mp3 

Red Grange Football Show 4x-xx-xx (09) 
Outstanding Football Plays Of The Season. mp3 

Shadow, The 38-06-26 The Old People.mp3 
Shadow, The 38-07-03 The Voice Of The 
Trumpet.mp3 

Singing Sam Story 49-xx-xx Tribute To Singing Sam 
(End clipped). mp3 

Strange 55-xx-xx (87) Capt. Robinson (AFRS).mp3 
Strange 55-xx-xx (88) Deja Vu In France 
(AFRS).mp3 



That Strong Guy 
Twice. mp3 
That Strong Guy 
Killing. mp3 
That Strong Guy 
That Strong Guy 
Parole. mp3 
That Strong Guy 



AU xx-xx-xx #25) Widowed 

AU xx-xx-xx (10) Diamond 

AU xx-xx-xx (12) Fight Fixed. mp3 
AU xx-xx-xx (30) Tony On 

AU xx-xx-xx (34) King Midas. mp3 



This Is The Story 50-12-27 (114) The Barrier.mp3 

This Is The Story 50-xx-xx (1 1 5) Ralph Waldo 

Emerson, Queen Victoria.mp3 

This Is The Story 51-xx-xx (16) The Reluctant 

Fighter.mp3 

This Is The Story 52-1 1 -27 (1 49) Arctic Mistake.mp3 

This Is The Story 52-xx-xx (145) Little Jack Horner, 

Christmas Seals. mp3 

This Is The Story 52-xx-xx (146) Daniel Defoe, 

Singer Sewing Machine. mp3 

This Is The Story 5x-xx-xx (063) City Of London.mp3 

This Is The Story 5x-xx-xx (064) Paper.mp3 

This Is The Story 5x-xx-xx (081) Gutenberg Printing 

Press. mp3 

This Is The Story 5x-xx-xx (082) Easter Eggs.mp3 

This Is The Story 5x-xx-xx (087) Woolworth.mp3 

This Is The Story 5x-xx-xx (088) Mustard Mrs. 

Clements. mp3 

This Is The Story 5x-xx-xx (098) The Great 



McGraw.mp3 

This Is The Story 5x-xx-xx 

Bull, Pearl Buck.mp3 

This Is The Story 5x-xx-xx 

Mother, Einstein. mp3 

This Is The Story 5x-xx-xx 

Lillie.mp3 

This Is The Story 5x-xx-xx 

Old Curiosity Shop, Voltaire 

This Is The Story 5x-xx-xx 

W.C. Fields.mp3 

This Is The Story 5x-xx-xx 

Giuseppe Verdi. mp3 

This Is The Story 5x-xx-xx 

Grass, Yehudi Menuin.mp3 

This Is The Story 5x-xx-xx 

Anderson. mp3 



1 03) Boston Blackstone's 

1 04) Robert E. Lee's 

1 1 6) Bismarck, Beatrice 

117) Charles Dickens 
mp3 

118) McGuffy's Reader, 

133) Ulysses S. Grant, 

134) Whitman Leaves Of 
155) Hans Christian 



Those Sensational Years 47-01 -28 The Story Of Earl 
Sandy.mp3 

Tribute To A Trooper 48-06-17 Tribute To Singing 
Sam.mp3 

Upper Room, The 47-xx-xx (01) Those Whom God 

Hath Joined Together.mp3 

Upper Room, The 47-xx-xx (02) For Richer, For 

Poorer.mp3 

Upper Room, The 47-xx-xx (03) Romantic Life VS 

Marital Love.mp3 

Upper Room, The 47-xx-xx (04) Slings And Arrows 

Of Outrageous Fortune. mp3 

Upper Room, The xx-xx-xx (05) Two Heads Are 

Better Than One.mp3 

Upper Room, The xx-xx-xx (06) A Child Shall Lead 

Them.mp3 

Witness, The xx-xx-xx (08) Papa Knows Best.mp3 
Witness, The xx-xx-xx (09) A Child Is To Love.mp3 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



44 



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'RADIO ^UND - UPS 

Intimate Glimpses ofthe'R&dio Stars 

(EDITED & EXCESPTED FROM MATERIALS ORIGINALLY KJBLISHED IN 1932 > 



JOSEPH GUR] 

by and 

MYRON SLAG 




GUY 
LOMBARDO 

CONDUCTED K1S FIRST BAND 
AT THE AGE OF TWELVE IN 
L0ND0N,0HTARJQH15 HOMETOWN. 



BING CROSBY 

SHOUTED "BIBBING, 8IMG J' 
SO OFTEN AT FLAY THAT IT 
BECAME HIS NfCKNAME. 



EDWYNN 

*THE PERFECT FOOL* 

HAS A CO/AP1LATION OF 

0,000 PRINTED JOKES 




e 




SYLVIA FROOS 

APPEALING- BLUES 
SlN&ER.lS THE 
5A6Y OF NETWORK 
APULTSTARSAT1B. 




OZZHE NELSON 

MODEST ORCHESTRA LEADER,\MAS 
THE CHAMPION SVNtMMEftAHD BOXER 
ATVEMOLP RUTGERS" A FEW HEARS AGO. 



The Old Radio Times * December 2008 * Number 37 



45